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Privacy Technology

How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash 93

Nerval's Lobster writes: "Forbes offers up a comforting little story about how Nest and FitBit are planning on turning user data in a multi-billion-dollar business. 'Smart-thermostat maker Nest Labs (which is being acquired by Google for $3.2 billion) has quietly built a side business managing the energy consumption of a slice of its customers on behalf of electric companies,' reads the article. 'In wearables, health tracker Fitbit is selling companies the tracking bracelets and analytics services to better manage their health care budgets, and its rival Jawbone may be preparing to do the same.' As many a wit has said over the years: If you're not paying, you're the product. But if Forbes is right, wearable-electronics companies may have discovered a sweeter deal: paying customers on one side, and companies paying for those customers' data on the other. Will most consumers actually care, though?"
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How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash

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  • FitBit and Nest (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18, 2014 @05:33PM (#46791303)

    Two companies whose products I will never, ever buy.

  • Will it matter? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @05:35PM (#46791331) Journal
    You start with the ones who don't care, give them discounts on their insurance premiums or electric bill or whatever. Over the course of a few years, you futz with the prices until it's less of a 'discount' and more 'the only way to approach the price you used to get'.

    At that point, the ones who do care can either suck it up and wear whatever herd-management-solution you feel like telling them to, or they can pay (probably increasingly steeply) to maintain their precious little objections.
  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @05:44PM (#46791377)
    Snapshot from Progressive Insurance. Start by giving them a break in return for some seemingly innocuous monitoring; sooner or later, they'll either start requiring it or they'll start expanding the data they're allowed to collect and sell. What, you thought they were doing all this wonderful stuff just to save you money?

    Remember folks - first hit of the crack pipe's free . . .

  • Might? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @07:14PM (#46791995) Homepage Journal

    I'm already seeing ads for managers offering to sell me this information.

    I'm not sure you realize that it's already being marketed, not "will be" marketed.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears