Moves App Sells Out Data to Facebook

13 May Moves App Sells Out Data to Facebook

As an avid FitBit user, I was somewhat interested in Facebook’s recent acquisition of the app “Moves”.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, Moves is an activity diary that automatically tracks activities like running, biking, etc. and that helps keep people like me accountable for their laziness, or, on good days, allows people like me to pat themselves on the back for NOT being super lazy.  Either way, I’m into this sort of thing to help keep me motivated and to provide explanation when the number on the scale goes up.  As I said, I use FitBit, but since it’s similar to Moves I started thinking about what the acquisition would mean and how Facebook would utilize all its new data.

 

facebook2-resized-600.jpgThe transaction occurred in late April and neither Moves nor Facebook gave too much detail, however, they mentioned that Moves would continue to operate independently from Facebook and would not be funneling its data to Facebook.
But, fast-forward two weeks.  It appears some sneakiness has occurred.  On May 6, Apple Insider reported: “Moves app reneges on privacy promise, will share data with Facebook.”  Not. Cool.  And it appears users aren’t happy, either.  I can’t say I blame them.  If Facebook acquired FitBit and it was alerting them of my 24/7 whereabouts, I’d no longer be a user (take note, FitBit!).   And, apparently, they did it in a sly update of their privacy policy, which most probably didn’t read.

So, aside from my personal interest, what does this really mean for the security of our data?  To me, it seems like Facebook has used their money to buy even more data to stalk us as its prey and push more, annoying ads our way.  Luckily, I know that this is the type of thing I should pay attention to. I, like many others, don’t want to let Facebook know when I’m running through the park or out of town, and especially, I do not want them to plaster it onto my Facebook wall.

For example, “Kate Nesbitt just hiked 10 miles into a rugged area outside of Denver, CO.   She probably needs new hiking shoes (insert ad) and if you want to rob her house, now’s probably a good time – looks like she’s out of town.”

Obviously, that is an exaggeration and, of course, I have security settings on my Facebook account that would hopefully prevent robbers from showing up at my house, but you get the point.   Facebook already knows more than enough about me (probably more than I know about myself), I think they should just chill.  Additionally, it would have been great if Moves could have stuck to their word on data sharing.  But the point is, make sure you’re paying attention when it comes to the apps you’re using and what information you’re letting them access.  Odds are, there’s another app (or many) that do something similar to what Moves does, without the data sharing to a third party, or several third parties.

Additionally, if you’re a Moves user up in arms about the announcement, here are some of my favorite fitness tracker apps you might want to check out.  Keep in mind, I’m a runner/walker. There are definitely more that target other sports like cycling, but that’s not my jam. Just make sure you pay attention to your security/sharing settings no matter which app you choose! 

 

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Kate Nesbitt
knesbitt@speakerboxpr.com
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