Economic Times: Why A Clothing Company Purchased The Fitness Data Of 100 Million People

(Credit: PopSugar)

(Credit: PopSugar)

The data available on MyFitnessPal will give Under Armour an unprecedented look into the habits of their customers. If used properly, this can certainly be a major competitive advantage for the company. An apparel manufacturer would never be able to collect this level of detailed information on their own. Chairman and CEO Kevin Plank, in a press release, spoke of the potential to address their customers needs more fully by understanding “how they interact, how they consume, and ultimately how they strive to live healthier lifestyles.” Expect to see more traditional industries look to technology companies in order to harness the data they have collected.

For users its now a reality that information related to their health, wellbeing, and mental state can switch hands at any time. It highlights the need to address fundamental questions around data ownership, access, and control that remain unanswered. Especially since the rush to collect information is only increasing. There are now over 100,000 health and fitness apps in the Google Play and Apple App Stores and technology giants are building out their own healthcare tracking platforms as well. 

As the new leaders in health tracking, Under Armour, and the many companies that will make similar acquisitions in the future, must be careful in balancing privacy issues with profit motives. Short-sighted thinking could put the entire ecosystem in danger. That would be a huge loss considering the potential for healthcare technologies to make high-quality care more affordable and accessible. 

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Tarun Wadhwa