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Fitness Site Accidentally Shows Sexual Activity 297

Posted by samzenpus
from the private-numbers dept.
smitty777 writes "FitBit is a wearable device created to track calorie usage based on activities. Unfortunately for some users, one of those is sexual activities. The information gained from the device is uploaded to the users online web account, which is searchable by Google. From the article: 'Yikes. Users of fitness and calorie tracker Fitbit may need to be more careful when creating a profile on the site. The sexual activity of many of the users of the company’s tracker and online platform can be found in Google Search results, meaning that these users’ profiles are public and searchable.'" It's just a matter of time before a line gets crossed and a relationship gets ruined by trying to post the largest Fitbit numbers for the evening.
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Fitness Site Accidentally Shows Sexual Activity

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  • Problem (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cgeys (2240696) on Friday July 08, 2011 @09:50AM (#36693776)
    Problem isn't the sexual activity. Problem is the mindset that people have about it, teached by religions for hundreds of years. When people can finally put that past them and accept that, just like for them, sexual activity is a normal human function there is no need to worry about stuff like this. Then it would be the same as posting on your Facebook wall how good your breakfast was. People would just be bored about it.
    • Re:Problem (Score:5, Funny)

      by ccguy (1116865) on Friday July 08, 2011 @09:53AM (#36693816) Homepage
      Well, I can see a problem with sexual activity if my wife's FitBit's numbers aren't equal or a subset or mine. And I'm not religious.
      • Well, I can see a problem with sexual activity if my wife's FitBit's numbers aren't equal or a subset or mine. And I'm not religious.

        What if hers are a super-set of yours because she masturbates more than you? Is that a problem? I mean, besides reflecting poorly on your skills as a lover.

        • According to an article I read on this, there is no category on the site for going it solo. I guess they don't think it can be active enough to count.
          • I doubt the device could tell the difference for some people. Maybe it's just included in the same numbers?

        • by Dunbal (464142) *
          You are implying that masturbation arises from a partner with poor bedroom skills, that masturbation is a sign of a troubled relationship and that ideally no one would ever masturbate. You poor, deluded sap. You are part of the problem. PS - I hope you feel really guilty when you masturbate.
      • by Abstrackt (609015)

        It just means she likes to "work out" more than you. ;)

      • by rgviza (1303161)
        your wife may burn a different number of calories than you since one partner may be doing more work than the other depending on sexual position.
    • If you'll pardon the expression, amen. Though I think we're going to have to wait at least until the Millennials replace the Boomers, probably longer, before we see pervasive social change.

      It's rather ironic actually, a lot of Millennials grew up in stereotypical picket fence households where parents went out of their way to keep anything remotely sexual away from their children. Now that generation is, to some degree, hiding their sexuality from their parents but less so from each other. I only hope they
    • Re:Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by iceperson (582205) on Friday July 08, 2011 @10:08AM (#36694046)
      Taking a dump is a normal human function too. I'm not sure that I'd like people to be able to google my every bowel movement.

      Just because something is "normal" doesn't mean it should be done in public.
      • Re:Problem (Score:4, Funny)

        by Lumpy (12016) on Friday July 08, 2011 @10:37AM (#36694472) Homepage

        Correct, the propelr place for that is on Twitter..

        http://twitter.com/#!/search/i%20have%20to%20poop [twitter.com]

      • by houghi (78078)

        You will be investigated as you clearly have something to hide. You will be placed on the no-fly list and considered an infidel and a sympathizer of terrorism.

      • by drolli (522659)

        Hmmm. Maybe if we couple the toiled with a weight sensor to post to facebook....

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by couchslug (175151)

        I just had a colonoscopy to ensure nothing was wrong. I think I surprised the staff by asking the monitor be turned my way. (There is no need for much if any anesthesia, BTW.) Watched them zap a polyp, no big deal.

        I have friends who are too uptight to get a colonoscopy because it's "embarrassing", as if an ostomy is less so!

        Shitting in public only matters if one has a taboo against it We must shit somewhere, but taboos are a choice. Military latrines were once "open bay" (easier to ventilate and clean) and

    • Re:Problem (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Friday July 08, 2011 @10:09AM (#36694064)

      Besides religion there are other good reasons why you don't want that information to be public. Sexual activity is a private thing, and should be kept that way.
      1. Showing that you have too much or two little says things about your private life that you may not want to be public. Eg. You got onto an argument that day, or get other worried that your relationship is failing.

      2. If you are trying to have children, you may not want to let the public know this until it is fact. As this could effect ones personal career.

      3. It makes it unconfortable for those who are not getting some.

      • I find these reasons rather hollow. Privacy isn't really much of a choice if society punishes voluntary public exposure.

        Further, problems professionally with having children are not an argument for privacy but characterize a fundamental flaw with society that needs to be fixed. Yes, pregnancy is bad for business, but every company that talks out of both sides of its mouth needs to be taught a lesson. Either come out and just say 'we don't support working mothers because we are selfish assholes' and deal w
    • by ildon (413912)

      No. the problem is when someone is cheating and they input it into their device to track their fitness and their significant other finds out about it through Google. Even without religious hangups or whatever, once you've made a commitment to one person it's wrong to break that commitment.

    • by Eraesr (1629799)
      I think if all taboos surrounding sexuality are gone, it's not as much fun anymore.
      • by Abstrackt (609015)

        I think if all taboos surrounding sexuality are gone, it's not as much fun anymore.

        I strongly disagree. I've seen attitudes towards sex change a lot over the years, for the better, and sex has never been more fun because of it. Porn is becoming more mainstream and higher quality because of its acceptance, I don't have to hide my stash from my wife, you can buy accessories to have sex in any position/location you want and so on. Ten years ago it was near impossible to find good straps for bondage, now you can practically buy them at the grocery store. I think if all taboos surrounding

    • by operagost (62405)
      No, the problem is privacy, Captain Red Herring. Would you like everyone to know when you defecate or menstruate, too?
    • by dtjohnson (102237)

      "Problem isn't the sexual activity. Problem is the mindset that people have about it, teached by religions for hundreds of years. When people can finally put that past them and accept that, just like for them, sexual activity is a normal human function there is no need to worry about stuff like this.

      You could say the same about murder, child labor, infanticide, and denial of comfort to the suffering. The problem is not 'mindset' but that those things are wrong. Sexual activity showing up on FitBit violat

    • by sorak (246725)

      Agreed, but from the company's perspective, it is easier to change your product than to change the mindset of millions* of potential customers.

      * There are billions of people in the world, but I am assuming that the number of people who could afford, and would be interested in, purchasing a device that posts your workout information to a social networking site is significantly lower.

    • No the problem is that people without their spouse's knowledge and consent are engaging in activities that they not only vowed not to, but could very easily injure the non-participating spouse. If a Husband and Wife decide that soft swapping, hard swapping or even playing separately is OK in the marriage then fine, prior knowledge and competent informed consent makes a big difference. Most of the time it's simply one person lying and conniving behind the other spouse's back.

  • There's a HUGE difference between "showing" sexual activity as the article suggests and "tracking" it. Correct me if I'm wrong as I had trouble opening the site but was there a video of someone getting it on or just graphs and stuff.
    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      Sexual Activity: Active Vigorous Effort started 2pm. Duration 4 hours 15 minutes 347 Calories.

      Looks like 'tracking' to me/

    • by cygnwolf (601176)
      What gets me, from reading the article and from reading through FitBit's website, it doesn't "know" you're involved in sexual activity, you have to TELL it. So, to me, telling your fitbit profile that you had sex is the same damn thing as telling your facebook profile that you had sex, and if your profile is public, well gee. You could always just put it down as 'vigerous physical activity' and let other people's dirty little minds interpret it as they wish.
      • No, what gets me is that even the article tries to take the blame away from FitBits.

        When you create a profile, the default privacy setting allows profiles to be found in search results (Google, Bing, etc). If you don’t unclick this setting, it will obviously make your profile public for anyone to find.

        Safe defaults is the most important part of computer security and is exactly the bit Microsoft took years to learn (and still hasn't got completely). FitBits should default this to off and then turn it on gradually as they are convinced the user has understood the implications. They (along with FaceBook etc.) are 100% to blame.

  • Did that guy from the screenshot in TFA have sexual activity for 4 hours and 15 minutes? FitBit is really good for your stamina, apparently.

    • You sure that wasn't 4 minutes and 15 seconds? 4 hours is a really long freaking time for sex. He must have been popping pills for that marathon to take place!

  • by ThinkWeak (958195) on Friday July 08, 2011 @10:08AM (#36694048)
    I love that the graphic used in the article shows that Jeff had 4 hours and 15 minutes of sexual activity. So maybe those that are away of this searching ability will "pump their numbers" a little bit in the hopes that someone special might see?
    • Clearly this is a Streisand Effect / Slashvertisement of epic Cunningness.

      By reporting this people will be attracted to the site where they hear about Jeff, a user of FitBit, gets Vigorous sex for over 4 hours. People will be queueing to join.

  • Fitbit's fault (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maxwell demon (590494)

    From the article:

    So why are Fitbit users’ profiles able to be searchable in Google? It’s not really Fitbit’s fault. When you create a profile, the default privacy setting allows profiles to be found in search results (Google, Bing, etc). If you don’t unclick this setting, it will obviously make your profile public for anyone to find.

    It is very clearly Fitbit's fault. This option should be unchecked by default, so that users who don't notice it don't accidentally make their profiles p

    • by Byzantine (85549)

      I own a Fitbit. It was Fitbit's fault. Apparently, though, nobody at Slashdot thought to actually look at Fitbit's site [fitbit.com]:

      We take the privacy of all Fitbit users very seriously. To address some recent concerns about logged activities of Fitbit users showing up in search engine results, we have taken several immediate steps.

      Some quick background:

      • As you know, Fitbit users can decide voluntarily to log their physical activities. You must do this manually and this information is not collected automatically.
      • Whoops, accidentally logged in and commented under my old, now-unused account. Posting as the new me to remove any temptation to moderate.

  • ...Where do you attach this accelerometer-based apparatus when you're boinking?

    rj

  • You know you want to do the Jane Fonda.
  • I just tried the search indicated in the article. Google returned no search results. Did Google block or scrub it somehow?
  • True story: (Score:4, Funny)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Friday July 08, 2011 @10:51AM (#36694674)

    I am a cardiologist.

    A young male patient goes to his female primary care doc and tells her that he gets palpitations sporadically. To rule out a suptraventricular tachycardia, she places him on a 24 hour home telemetry monitor. The monitor shows a (normal) fast heart rate at 11pm, so she sends him to me.

    I ask him what he was doing. Apparently his girlfriend thought that the monitor was "hot", so they did it with the monitor on. The patient was too embarrased to tell his primary care, so he was sent to me.

    I wrote in my letter to the primary care that the increased rate was due to "normal physiologic activity".

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