For example, data from activity trackers like the Fitbit can be used by insurance companies to decide how much you pay. In 2018, a US-based division of insurer Manulife announced that it would provide wearable fitness trackers to customers in exchange for lower premiums.
This reads in a misleading way. Data from activity trackers is not discreetly sent from Fitbit to your insurance provider to determine your insurance rates without your consent, nor will this be true for this device. The second sentence is the known extent of it: insurance companies (and businesses who insure their employees) are ‘giving’ activity trackers to those they insure and ‘rewarding’ them with lower rates, especially when they meet fitness goals.
That’s fucked up and Big-Brothery, and it’s easy to envision a future in which your data is just given to your insurance company to determine your rates whether you like it or not, but there’s no value in prematurely framing it this way.
As an aside:
One smartphone app that uses the device’s accelerometer to track sleep, called Sleep Cycle, says the accelerometer “is used to analyze your movements as you sleep” and instructs the user to place their phone next to their pillow at night.
This is going to look wild in 50 years when we’ve likely confirmed and accepted that sleeping with your old cell phone right in front of your face was an unnecessarily unhealthy thing to do.