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, 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.


iPod Tips

Now who would’ve thought that the latest feature of the nano will be the reason of its possible demise? Right from the start, i was really not in favor of the Nano having a video feature. I would have wanted the Nano to stay as simple as it was.

David Cintron

No one has told me at the YMCA I am a member of that my iPhone is not allowed in the gym area. They do have mini lockers people can use for cellphones and keys but I always have my iPhone with me for listening to music and watching videos.


I saw this coming the moment they revealed that the nano would have a camera. I’m guessing that the nano is probably the iPod of choice for many gym patrons, since it’s extremely small and light.

At least there’s the shuffle, touch and Classic (though the Classic is probably a bit cumbersome for workouts and I doubt the touch will be camera-less for long anyway). Unlikely that the shuffle will get a camera, given that it doesn’t even have a screen.


I can understand the gym’s concerns over the video features, but it doesn’t make much sense to me to actively ban the nanos with video cameras unless they are also going to ban all cell phones with video cameras. Most cells have cameras and camcorders on them and it wouldn’t be very difficult to use either feature without anybody noticing.


I had no idea gyms already restricted things with cameras. No one has ever asked me not to take my cell phone into a gym. I can see where they might complain if you were going around obviously taking photos of other patrons, but having an ipod or phone in your pocket doesn’t seem like that big a deal.

However, I can see this being more of a legit concern in other places, like certain classified government jobs. I already know people who can’t take their cell phones to work because of that. I wonder if Apple will consider keeping a line with no cameras (same for computers) for workplaces like that.

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