Wearing a Nike + iPod can definitely get you noticed, even to people you may not want to be noticed by.
Riding high on the list of must have’s, the Nike + iPod has been found to have a security threat, according to a research by University of Washington.
The Nike + iPod combo gadget basically enables the runner to look at how far he has run and how fast, at an instant. This is done by the gizmo in the runner’s shoe that is responsible for transmitting data to the iPod. This data, however might not just be personal to the runner. The gizmo could well be sending out data to unwanted sources as well.
Scott Saponass, Jonathan Lester, Carl Hartung and Tadayoshi Kohno, all researchers from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, in a statement said, “”A bad person could use this information to compromise your personal privacy and safety. We describe specific example scenarios, like stalking, in our paper.”
The transmission of this private information of your whereabouts is done by the radio frequency identification chip (RFID), by sending the encrypted data to a receiver connect with the iPod. The range of the information being broadcast, 60 feet, is the main cause of concern for security of the gadgets user. This information can be tapped by someone trying to keep a track of your movements, from 60 feet away.
A typical scenario where the spread of this private information could be harmful is, a burglar can record the movements of a house owner. He can know when the owner moves out of the house and when he comes back, by just placing a small computer equipment for reading the unique identifier. This equipment can be hidden near to the users house, like the front door or the bushes besides the entrance, where it can go undetected. Every time the shoe passes by the equipment, the burglar will know that the owner is out and make freeway for him to break in.
Building a network of sensors to track the movements of people isn’t a far fetched possibility with plotting the tracking information on something like a Google Map. Making such an equipment would be far less expensive as compared to the information it can provide. As per the researchers a small prototype of such an equipment – a WiFi enabled Nike + iPod surveillance network was prepared by them for less than $ 250.