Key Privacy Risks of Using Wearable Medical Devices

Key Privacy Risks of Using Wearable Medical Devices

Smartwatches obtain a lot of data about you. It may be the number of steps one took a day and where they went, or financial details if one's computer is allowed to make payments.

Fremont, CA: Smartwatches and activity trackers are trending nowadays. This is because people are enjoying the convenience of getting the power of the Internet within reach. So-called wearable technology can be used to power your Internet of Things (IoT) equipment, such as smart thermostats, TVs, and more. They can even track one's health and fitness habits.

The global demand for wearable devices is projected to grow to $51.6 billion by 2022, as per a recent study. That means that a lot of people are strapping onto smart devices as the new accessory in their internet wardrobes.

Specific smartwatch vulnerabilities to consider

Wearable technology has come a long way since 2015, but one might still be concerned about their privacy and the protection of the data collected and processed by these devices.

Here are some problems one may face with wearable technology:

Smartwatches collect personal data

Smartwatches obtain a lot of data about you. It may be the number of steps one took a day and where they went, or financial details if one's computer is allowed to make payments. And the list is growing, based on the applications they have installed and the personal details they have provided.

This creates concerns. Who's going to see all or part of that data? How safely is this stored? You can find some of the answers by reading the privacy policy for your smartwatches and the software that you download. But bear in mind that your information is stored in the cloud—on a remote server—and there's not much you can do to avoid a possible loss of data.

One's data can be sent to many third parties

Smartwatches—whether it is an Android device or Apple device —come with privacy policies. Reading the policy will tell how much or how little information is being exchanged.

It is a good idea for smartwatch apps not to offer a lot of permissions. For example, some apps may want to access account information and one's location. This would be useful information for cybercriminals if they managed to exploit one's smartwatch with spyware.