Fitbit security slammed in tracker test

No surprises that your data can be accessed by very determined hackers.
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Wearable tech has been under the security microscope since its inception and we've dedicated hundreds of column inches to discussing the potential pitfalls for people's data.

However, independent IT security institute AV Test has gone one step further and put a load of popular wearables in its lab. It has tested nine popular fitness trackers, including the Fitbit Charge, Acer Liquid Leap, Jawbone UP24 and Garmin Vivosmart, among others.

Essential reading: How Google will make billions from your health data

You can read the full results of those tests if you're especially interested, but given it makes slightly painful reading, we've done the hard work for you. Basically, your personal information is least secure with Acer and Fitbit devices.

The AV Test chaps found a bunch of glaring security holes in a number of fitness trackers, which meant that some bands could be paired with unauthorised smartphones and transfer their data without issue.

The report's author, Maik Morgenstern found that many of the apps could be accessed by determined hackers. What's more, it was often possible for third party apps to request access to bands and take information.

Fitbit security slammed in tracker test

The report concluded that the Polar Loop and Sony SmartBand Talk SWR30 were the most secure. Gold stars for those two brands.

Essential reading: The worrying potential of wearable data

It's no surprise that there are security questions over wearables, and it's important to keep pressure on brands to make sure their devices are robust. Of course, it's little more than scaremongering at the moment given that most bands only store a handful of mundane information. But as biometric sensing and location data becomes more prevalent over the next few years, basic security flaws will go from lazy oversights to gross negligence with regards to people's data – and manufactuers will have to take this area a lot more seriously.

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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