It goes without saying that Privacy on the internet is a myth! From Facebook to FaceApp, it seems no one cares about the users’ data privacy. All of your data is there for the world to see! No matter what you browse, who you chat with, what you do online, is kept track of. And if that weren’t enough, a new report claims that your fitness tracking device, too, puts your data at a risk. As a matter of fact, all of your Bluetooth devices could potentially give away your location.
A certain vulnerability in Bluetooth devices potentially puts you at a risk. Third-party users can use this vulnerability to extract sensitive information. Subsequently, that information can lead to stalking or abuse. With Bluetooth devices abundantly available, this piece of information should be of concern to many.
The susceptibility arises from the way Bluetooth devices pair to one another. A device serves as a central connection and others act as peripheral devices. Similar to an IP address, the peripheral devices send out a signal containing their respective unique addresses. The addresses are randomized and are changed periodically. Despite this, an open-source sniffer algorithm can track the Bluetooth connections. Though your individual information is not at risk, it still is a matter of concern to many.
According to the reports, it’s the Fitbit users who are at a huge risk. Fitbit does not automatically update or randomize its address as other devices do. As a result, it makes those devices easier to track.
However, Fitbit released a statement, stating that user privacy is their prime concern. The devices use Bluetooth Low Energy technology that enables devices to connect easily without draining their batteries. This technology can trace any active information trackers nearby. Thus, it would be highly unlikely that a person locates a device, tracks its owner, and proceeds to stalk him/her. Regardless, Fitbit is monitoring the situation and devising possible updates to rectify this vulnerability.
This finding further goes on to affirm that privacy in this day and age is non-existent. Tracking using 4G was fast, who knows what can be done using 5G. No matter how foolproof the plan to secure user data might be, someone somewhere will find a way around it. Hope this new development steers more tech giants to start thinking of better ways to protect our privacy.