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Fitbit accused of false advertising

Fitbit is facing a lawsuit over its capabilities to track sleep, as the company is being accused of false advertising and common law fraud.

The lawsuit was filed by James P Brickman, who claims to represent a group of Fitbit owners unhappy with the sleep tracking capabilities of its fitness trackers.

The lawsuit cites a 2012 study (opens in new tab)that found that Fitbit devices tend to overestimate sleep by an average of 67 minutes, it says in a report by Wareable (opens in new tab).

"Thinking you are sleeping up to 67 minutes more than you actually are can cause health consequences, especially over the long term," wrote the claimant, who has hired lawyers from Ohio and California for the case.

"[Fitbit] has made specific advertisement claims that for an extra charge, the customer can purchase a device which also contains a "sleep-tracking" function which will track "how long you sleep," "the number of times you woke up," and "the quality of your sleep," the claim states.

"In fact, the sleep-tracking function does not and cannot do these things. It does not perform as advertised. Consumers who purchase these products and pay the extra amount for this function do not receive the value of this function for which they paid," it continues.

The suit targets the "Fitbit Force, Flex, One, Zip, and Fitbit Ultra; as well as Fitbit's second-generation products, the Charge, Charge HR, and Fitbit Surge."

The only product not targeted by the lawsuit is Fitbit Zip, as that one doesn’t have sleep tracking capabilities.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.