Health tracking devices can be controversial for any number of reasons, but increasingly the biggest one is that it can betray some shockingly personal moments in your life. Just ask the guy who discovered his Fitbit knew when he’d gotten dumped. But now there’s another unexpected bit of health data it can figure out: Whether or not you’re pregnant.
It all started where Internet stories usually do, with somebody going to Reddit. David Trinidad had noticed that his wife’s heartbeat was unusually high, putting her in the Fitbit’s “fat-burning” zone without any activity that might burn fat. He was hopeful that the sensor was broken, but then one user asked if his wife was pregnant.
It wasn’t a troll, either. Pregnancy elevates your heart rate due to increased blood volume, so it was actually the most logical answer. Sure enough, a visit to the doctor later, a baby is on the way and an Instagram was born.
While this is a happy ending, and it does illustrate the usefulness of tracking your health data in certain situations, there’s a dark side here. Imagine if this woman had been attending Oral Roberts University, and the school had analyzed the data. She might have discovered she was pregnant the same day she was being thrown out of her college. Or, of course, it could have been something a lot less pleasant that the entire world would know about. It’s something to think about, before you share your fitness data.