Mobile technology has quickly become part of our everyday lives. It might be hard to remember the last time you didn’t have a smartphone within arm’s reach. So it’s no surprise that wearable technology is a hot topic. Maybe you’ve been wearing a calculator watch since the 1980s and recently upgraded to Google Glass. Wearable tech isn’t exactly new, but the gadgets are certainly improving and collecting more data about you and those around you. Just look at how many people were talking about the new Apple Watch debut yesterday.
However, what you can do with the tech that you wear is developing faster than the security to protect your personal data collected and stored on it. Unfortunately, with wearable tech, as with many things, security can be an afterthought.
Before you strap on your new smartwatch, you should be aware of a few personal privacy concerns.
Personal health info
Medical records may be anything but secure, but HIPAA does, in theory, protect your digital health privacy. However, HIPAA does not protect data collected from third parties. That fitness watch gives you all the great stats about your workouts, but who else is seeing that information? When you agree to wearable tech user license, you might be allowing them to share your personal health information with vendors, leaving your health information unprotected.
The privacy of those around you
Wearable tech devices like Google Glass can collect and share data about your personal habits, but when you take it into the world, they also collect data about those around you. Google Glass is capable of continuous surveillance, so it’s no wonder it might make those around wearers a bit uncomfortable. Researchers have even been able to access people’s passwords and pin numbers using Google Glass. Other devices can capture video, photos and access information from those around you too, but because Google Glass is worn on the face, it is less obvious when information is being collected.
When wearable tech relies on Wi-Fi to work, wearers tend to utilize public networks. Some devices connect with open networks even if they lack encryption. There are ways to protect your devices from unsecure Wi-Fi networks, like using VPN, but these precautions require users to take extra steps. Devices that require Wi-Fi to complete tasks want to connect, if you’re using these devices, be mindful and keep them secure.
The more personal we get with our technology, the more important it is to protect the personal data these devices collect and store. When putting on your wearable tech, security should be taken as seriously as convenience and fashion.