Is Nike+iPod Sports Kit Tracking You?

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Researchers at the University of Washington report findings that the Apple Nike+iPod Sports Kit can be used as a tracking device.

While I was searching for possible article topics this afternoon, I came across one that applied to me personally. T. Scott Saponas, a research student at the University of Washington conducted a study that concluded that the Nike+iPod Sports Kit could actually be used as a tracking device.

Being a runner myself, I had looked into the iPod and Nike collaboration, which integrates chip technology into a pair of Nike running shoes, in order to count calories and miles through an iPod Nano.

According to the Apple’s Nike+iPod site, you can also “use the workouts included with your Nike + iPod or create your own. Spoken feedback and your PowerSong help motivate you to achieve your goals. And when you get back home, upload your data to the Nike+ website to analyze your workouts, set goals, even compete against your friends in virtual races.”

The runner’s information is transmitted from one chip, which acts as a pedometer in the Nike shoe, to another chip located in the iPod Nano that records the data.

Saponas, along with other students, discovered that the chip technology actually leaves the runner vulnerable to tracking devices, through transmissions of the in-shoe sensor.

The unique code transmitted by the in-shoe sensor identifies the individual runner, as well as their location.

Saponas came to the shocking conclusion that by using the signal from the sensor, a runner may be tracked, in real-time using Google Maps, if the sensor is left on while not in use.

Nike+iPod users are advised to shut off their Sports Kit when not using it for exercise purposes.

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Autmn Davis is a staff writer for WebProNews covering ebusiness and technology.

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