I was a few days ago old when I discovered my smart health tracker also keeps tabs on my location and movements, available to the police. Well, at least I think that it does based on my viewing of the latest CSI: Las Vegas (cue music).

Photo by Dushawn Jovic on Unsplash

Everyone I know is wearing an AI-powered health tracker. This includes wearable devices like Fitbit (recently acquired by Google to much complaint). Where is my sensitive health data going? What I eat, how much I move, whether I got my Flu/COVID shot or not, etc. is all being aggregated by Big Tech (e.g. Apple, Google) in partnership with Big Insurance (e.g. Humana’s Go 365). How do you strike a balance between getting the benefits of AI health tracking and ensuring my personal data stays secure, private?

Alphabet Inc.’s Google announced a slew of initiatives to deploy its artificial intelligence models in the health care industry, including a tool that will help Fitbit users glean insights from their wearable devices and a partnership to improve screenings for cancer and disease in India. via Bloomberg


Some of the consequences of AI-powered health tracking without privacy protections in place? Hmm…

  • Health data could be misused for commercial gain
  • Personal health information is stolen or used for potential discrimination (like insurance company dropping you because you ate too many donuts tracked by your visit to the donut shop and then how many times your hand lifted to your mouth with a donut in it…who knows what AI can do?)
  • Lack of privacy protections might kick off an anti-health technology wave because you and I don’t trust them anymore

What other consequences might result?


Google’s recent announcement about integrating Gemini (it’s AI model) into Fitbit devices sends a shudder up my arm. What “personalized health insights” they provide won’t be as useful as you might hope. The private, confidential health data their AI consumes to tell me, “Stopping at the donut shop once a day” will be worth far more than the benefit.

Still, AI feature’s like this could coach folks like me after analyzing my health data. This is an embryonic first step for AI, so to speak, and who knows what new, action steps I could take with an AI’s insight.


Maybe, the insertion of AI-powered Fitbit devices that ALSO have built-in protections for privacy would be helpful. Maybe I’ll be able to get solid coaching on health AND know that I can trust my data will be secure. What’s Google’s motto again? Oh…nevermind.


What Big Tech needs to offer is more robust security features, and ironclad agreements to safeguard information. Maybe tools like data encryption and anonymization will work.


What do you think about AI-powered health trackers? Is this something you are worried about or curious about? Write a response via Mastodon, email (see link below), or blog it and then let me know what you think via social media. What’s been your experience in this arena? After all, it won’t be long before AI is asking, “Who are you?