Judge orders Fitbit to answer sleep tracking lawsuit claim

More legal woes for Fitbit's trackers
Fitbit sleep tracking lawsuit ramps up

Just last month, Fitbit rolled out new Sleep Schedule features based on its sleep tracking tech, developed in conjunction with experts at Stanford, Johns Hopkins and the University of Arizona.

Now it is, once again, in a spot of bother with the law. The accuracy of Fitbit's sleep tracking technology, specifically allegedly misrepresentative claims on Fitbit Flex packaging, are the subject of a class action lawsuit. It's a separate case to the controversial heart rate tracking lawsuit that we've reported on previously.

Read this: Fitbit heart rate tech 'puts consumers at risk'

Fitbit tried to get this case thrown out, citing "bad science" in the evidence presented, but a judge has just ruled that it will move forward. That doesn't mean it will necessarily go to trial, just that Fitbit has to mount a legal defence against the claims.

The lawsuit, which was first filed in San Francisco in 2015, doesn't just cover packaging and false advertising. It alleges unfair trade practices, fraud as well as getting into sleep tracking technologies, how they work and how accurate (and therefore useful) they are.

It claims that accelerometer-based Fitbit trackers overestimate sleep by 63 minutes - when compared to polysomnography which involves hooking someone up to electrodes - and by 43 minutes when compared to actigraphy which measures motor activity.

Fitbit has said it plans to vigorously defend the lawsuit, as with the heart rate tracking lawsuit. No doubt it plans to fight science with science this time too.

A Fitbit spokesperson has sent out this statement: "The Court's ruling does not address the merits of the plaintiffs' allegations. Due to procedural rules, the Court is bound by the complaint and cannot consider the scientific studies that support Fitbit's claim. These studies demonstrate that Fitbit trackers do track sleep. Fitbit trackers are not intended to be scientific or medical devices, but are designed to provide meaningful data to our users to help them reach their health and fitness goals. We intend to defend ourselves vigorously and demonstrate that plaintiffs' case has no merit."

Source: Ars Technica

Do you use your Flex or other Fitbit for sleep tracking? Do you think it's accurate? Let us know in the comments.

1 Comment

  • NightTrader says:

    Idiotic lawsuit. I am surprised the judge went for it. Americans are big into litigation. If anything makes a claim that it can do anything, it can be sued and potentially make the plaintiff (and the lawyers) a bunch of money... Better odds than a lottery ticket!

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