ICLOAK - Three Potential Privacy Threats Posed By Wearable Tech

By Eric B. Delisle August 11, 2015 General No comments yet

As new technology is introduced, it can improve people’s lives in ways they didn’t expect. However, this change does not come without risk. One of the risks of people using new tech is the possibility of having their privacy invaded and their anonymity lost. This can lead to very serious consequences for your safety and financial livelihood. New wearable technology has raised security concerns with industry watchers. Below are a few of the reasons why.

1. The Potential Sale of Your Information

Health monitoring devices are a very common form of wearable technology. These devices can do things like record heartbeat, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, sleep patterns and more. However, who has access to this information? Often times, the information is sent to a central database that is owned by the company that manufactures that medical device. This may leave you wondering who can look up this information.

Can it be sold to a third party? It all really depends on what is stated in that company’s privacy policy. Shady companies are becoming more adept at making privacy policies very deceptive. This can include mountains of text composed of confusing phrasing and constant policy updates that can be hard to sift through for the average consumer. Overall, you need to make absolutely sure that the sale of your information to anyone else is prohibited by the privacy policy.

2. The Potential Tracking of Your Location

The Telegraph and others have also warned that the vulnerabilities of wearable tech could be exploited by real world stalkers. In certain circumstances, wearable tech can be used to track your location. Certain kinds of wearable tech, such as smart watches, report the geographic location of the wearer back to a main hub. This can certainly be a big risk. For one, the main hub in many cases is stored in the cloud, which means that resources are pooled together to slash the overhead of traditional hosting space.

While this saves businesses money, it also slashes security protections. As we all know from the celebrity photo hack scandal, information stored in the cloud is not always safe. If a person wanted to stalk someone that uses wearable tech, they may be able to if they have enough knowledge to hack the system. Such a stalker won’t only learn where a person lives. They may also be able to tell where that person goes to outside during the day. This can make someone a vulnerable target to a predator.

3. Identity Theft

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 16 million people a year are the victims of identity theft. The users of wearable technology are at risk of becoming part of this statistic. In this case, the culprits don’t necessarily need to break into a cloud network to extract information. Instead, identity thieves often take advantage of Wi-Fi signals and use those to try to gain access to the information on and being sent out by people’s computers. This is a risk at Wi-Fi hotspots.

Sometimes identity thieves even park outside homes to get in range of their Wi-Fi routers. The fact that wearable technology is constantly sending out information is a risk. With the right technical knowhow and hacking skills, there is a possibility that information can be intercepted. It can then be used to do things like set up credit card accounts and make purchases under that person’s name. Overall, you need to be aware of the level of security and encryption used to protect the data that is stored and sent out from a piece of wearable tech.

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Eric B. Delisle

A serial Entrepreneur, With a broad base of experience from being a pet shop owner, working in radio, putting the first Virtual Reality Systems in Disney World, fundraising, import/export, cyber security, everything technology related, sales and marketing, to market research and channel distribution working for MTV Networks/Viacom, consultant to the National Science Foundation on SBIR funding proposals, and currently investing in real estate, startups, and founding and running ICLOAK, Inc.

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