Request For Research Presentations For the PrivacyCon Conference #27

Submission Number:
Jessica Vitak
Initiative Name:
Request For Research Presentations For the PrivacyCon Conference
Wearable fitness trackers, such as the wristbands produced by Fitbit and Jawbone, are an increasingly popular tool for tracking one's health and physical activity. But few studies have empirically evaluated users' behaviors when sharing fitness data and their perceptions of privacy concerns related to the collection, aggregation, and sharing of personal fitness information (PFI). We surveyed 361 Fitbit and Jawbone users to understand how privacy fits into their mental models of tracking and sharing PFI. Echoing previous research, we find that users have very limited knowledge of the policies of fitness tracking companies. In general, they do not see PFI as sensitive or valuable, and we found no relationship between their PFI disclosure habits and their privacy concerns. This suggests that many people may not consider the privacy implications of using fitness trackers. As data from these devices increasingly appears as evidence in court cases or feed into workplace wellness programs, it is important for people to understand how their data can be used. We offer recommendations for policymakers, civil society, and designers to help address this gap. Citation: Vitak, J., Liao, Y., Kumar, P., Kritikos, K.C., Zimmer, M. (forthcoming). Privacy Attitudes and Data Valuation Among FItness Tracker Users. Proceedings from iConference 2018: The Thirteenth Annual iConference. Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.