New iPod Nano Raises Privacy Concerns With Fitness Chain

iPod nano & camera locationOne of the great things about the iPod nano is that you can use it with Nike+ to track your workouts. Or you could, if the fitness center would let you bring the media player in to the gym. Life Time Fitness, a U.S.-based gym chain, is officially blacklisting the device according to TwinCities.com, and others will likely follow suit.

The reason, of course, is the recently introduced video capture capability the nano now sports. Yes, it allows the iPod to compete with devices like the Flip pocket camcorder, but it also raises privacy concerns in environments where video and image recording devices traditionally haven’t been permitted.

Life Time has already put a restriction on the books banning the nano from its 84 facilities, spread across 19 states. Others are considering a similar move, or argue that the device is already covered by their existing regulations. The YMCA, for instance, already restricts photo and video gadgets to lockers, and argues that this applies to the new nano, too.

Of course, the problem with any such ban is enforcement. Are gym staff really going to stop each patron each time they visit to make sure that nano they’re wearing on their arm isn’t a current-generation model, especially when the average person probably couldn’t spot the difference unless the device is removed from its case?

As someone who already visits a gym daily with an iPhone in an armband case, I doubt new anti-nano regulations will end up having much of an effect on the average fitness center attendee. But in order to protect yourself, it is a good idea to be aware that less scrupulous individuals might be using the new iPods for nefarious purposes, and keep an eye out accordingly when you’re working out or in the locker room.

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