In a series of featured articles published through FoxBusiness, ValleyBeat explores the impact of technology and questions the ethics of tech companies whose main goal, at the end of the day, is to sell their products to consumers.
As individuals become more and more reliant on high tech devices, there is a growing need for greater awareness of the effects the digital world has on lifestyle — and on and within the competitive market. With respect to a wide variety of issues such as personal privacy and data vulnerability, the article notes, “The assumption has always been that the benefits outweigh the risks, that companies act ethically and responsibly and that users know what they’re getting into.”
The recent spate of lawsuits revolving around faulty and intrusive tech devices begs the question of whether “tech companies and users [are] aware that they’re taking greater risks that require higher levels of scrutiny and responsibility.”
This month, a study sponsored by Lieff Cabraser and conducted by California State Polytechnic University, Pomona tested the heart rate accuracy of Fitbit’s PurePulse monitors in the Surge and Charge HR fitness trackers. Researchers found that the devices were highly inaccurate and off by an average of 20 beats per minute during moderate- to high-intensity exercise.
In addition, it was recently revealed that Palo Alto-based healthcare technology company Theranos misled customers about the accuracy of its blood tests, voiding two years of results from its Edison blood-testing devices.
According to the author of the ValleyBeat article, “Make no mistake, my concern is not with Silicon Valley or the technology per se, but to create awareness that apps and gadgets don’t always work as advertised and that all sorts of factors affect executive decisions. And you will never get a CEO to admit this on the record, but that’s true of products that affect human lives, as well.”