How to evaluate wearables products for security and privacy

How can I better evaluate the security and privacy risks of the wearables product I am considering buying?

Since data from wearables are not regulated by law, it is important for you to evaluate the risks and benefits for yourself. While there is no single framework to evaluate these products, organizations like the Mozilla Foundation have developed ratings for wearables from a security and privacy perspective. You can use the following metrics to evaluate the risks:

  • Sharing practices followed by the company: Your data might not be shared at all for commercial purposes or could be shared in a de-identified format.
  • Collection of location and biometric data: Given the nature of these products, they almost always collect biometric and location data. The more of  this data it collects, the greater your exposure.
  • User friendly privacy information: A company that allows you to easily access its privacy policy and explains the policy in language that you can understand is an indication that it is committed to preserving your privacy.
  • Collection of unnecessary or excessive data: A product that automatically or manually collects data about you that is not required for the service it provides is riskier. For example, products that collect your location data even when you are not using them expose you to greater risk than products that collect only that data that is required to power its technology or analytics
  • Encryption and updates: A product that adopts encryption at rest and in transit along with regular updates to its security infrastructure is more secure.
  • Strong passwords: Since wearables are typically connected to a mobile application, it is important that they follow strong password protection protocols.

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