Who Owns Your Steps?

by Stephanie M. Lee on July 6, 2015

Millions of people are logging fitness workouts with wearables. Now a growing number of them are trying to free their data from their devices.

Fitbit / Via fitbit.com

Kendra Albert has painstakingly logged a few million steps on wearable fitness trackers over the last four years. But the only proof of her hard-won progress resides on the servers of the company that makes them. For Albert, that data is almost as valuable and irreplaceable as photos or texts, and she worries what would happen if someday it were to become prohibitively expensive, or technically impossible, to export. “Getting locked into a specific provider would be unfortunate,” the 25-year-old law student told BuzzFeed News.

As more people monitor every part of their health with gadgets and apps, a debate is emerging over a key question: Who owns the resulting data? A small but growing number of consumers, who've literally sweated for that information, say device makers should give them the tools to export, analyze, and delete the data as they please. But some of the leading fitness-tracking services haven't done much to make it easy to download data or integrate it into other systems — partly because they don't think most customers want to view their steps in massive Excel spreadsheets, and partly in a bid to keep them from taking their steps to a rival.

So over the last few years, a handful of programmers have built their own data-scraping tools for fitness apps. They're members of the Quantified Self movement, which uses self-tracking technologies to improve well-being, and part of a broader campaign to free our health data from institutions that have been historically slow to share it, be it for reasons technical, legal, or financial.

“The Quantified Self movement is fighting the same battles that patient advocates are,” said Regina Holliday, a patient advocate in Grantsville, Maryland. Holliday believes her late husband, who died from kidney cancer in 2009, might have received better care if he'd had full access to his medical records.

“The idea is that all the data needs to be shared and needs to be able to follow the patient and be used in conjunction with each other,” she said.

Last June, Apple released Health, an iPhone app that's a dashboard for steps, calories, weight, sleep, and other metrics. You can manually enter data or import it from devices and apps. If you want to take that information off your phone, the app's built-in export feature generates a file like this:

Stephanie M. Lee / BuzzFeed

View Entire List ›

Originally Posted By BuzzFeed - Tech


Hacking Team end up being totally 0wned

by Désiré Athow on July 6, 2015

Hacking Team end up being totally 0wned

Over the weekend, one of the most notorious and secretive security surveillance companies, Hacking Team, has been hacked and hundreds of Gigabytes of data that includes emails, source code and internal documents stolen.

It is not clear at this stage who hacked Hacking Team and more importantly, why. The attackers made sure that their intrusion would not go unnoticed by defacing the company’s Twitter account and making public more than 400GB of content.

Hacking the hackers

This tactic would, in theory, allow the attackers to hide their tracks and proceed towards their real intended target(s), in what is likely to be a state of confusion and FUD for Hacking Team’s clients.

The Italian company offers a wide range of services and tools, all aimed at helping organisations and governments, gather data on individuals. A lot of its clients are allegedly oppressive governments although the company has always maintained the opposite.

The hacked files show that Hacking Team counted customers from Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Sudan, Russia, UAE amongst those who had paid for its services.

The company’s social accounts and website are no longer accessible.

Originally Posted By TechRadar: All latest World of tech news feeds