According to Statisa, The number of connected wearable devices globally has more than doubled within three years. This number has increased from 325 million in 2016 to 722 million in 2019. Connected wearable devices include, fitness trackers, smart heart watches, and wearable ECG, blood pressure and sugar level monitors. These devices are made by popular brands such as Fitbit and Apple.
With the number of wearable devices increasing worldwide in their millions, it is vital that security concerns regarding wearable devices are addressed. This blog post will cover the top 5 most concerning security risks faced by individuals who choose to wear these devices.
Many connected wearable devices have a social media feature built into them, through which, users can publicise their information and compare their stats with their friends. Mostly, this option is turned off by default. However, according to Varonis, it is not unusual for the default privacy to be set to public, allowing profiles to be found in search results. This may lead to a serious breach of ones privacy and their health information.
2. Selling of Data
Although wearers of connected devices presume that their data will remain both private and anonymous, there are still concerns as to whether data will be sold to companies relying on health analytics to target their advertisements to those who need them. For example, a company may target customers with weight loss pills as a result of the persons BMI stored in their health tracking app.
3. Who Owns the Data?
It is unclear as to whether the company supplying the wearable device or the user wearing the device are the owners of the data collected. As the creator of the data, it is assumed that the owner of the wearable device is the owner of the data. However, there are certain companies that do not allow the owner to change or update data.
4. Insurance Premiums
Many insurance companies have begun to encourage their customers to adopt wearable devices. Unsurprising, this has nothing to do with the concern the company has for their customers. This encouragement has generated concerns about the sharing of data collected by wearable devices, and how it could potentially be used to manipulate insurance premiums.
5. Cyber Risks
The company the user buys their wearable from must be aware of the security threat a hacker poses. When buying a wearable the user must ensure that the connected device has the following functions, as listed by Travelers.com; custom security level settings for the user; remote erase feature; Bluetooth encryption; encrypt critical data elements such as user ID, passwords and PIN; Secure data with multiple OSs in the cloud.
What may aid these concerns?
More transparency surrounding the area of data collection through wearable technologies is necessary, clear policies about the sharing of data are also needed.
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