How Wearable Tech Could Spark A New Privacy Revolution

Fears over privacy are nothing new. As users began to see the sheer availability of information online, and the amount of personal data being seen and used by..

Sourced through Scoop.it from: techcrunch.com

Fears over privacy are nothing new. As users began to see the sheer availability of information online, and the amount of personal data being seen and used by tech companies, they became rightly concerned over how much information would be available to companies and individuals, and how that information would be used. The increasing stream of news about the scope and intensity of government-backed surveillance programs has only added to the paranoia.  As we enter a new era of technology marked by wearable devices like the Apple Watch and Google Glass, those fears — which have been simmering in the minds of consumers for years — may finally begin to boil over.  The Problem With Apps. When it comes to user privacy, there are two kinds of apps to worry about. The first kind is designed to gather information about a user. For example, social media apps go out of their way to draw as much information about their users as possible. This is advantageous for both users and companies — users get more involved with their networks, and companies get more information to sell to advertisers.

However, this can be concerning to users who do not wish their information to be sold or to be publicly available. The same is true for tracking-style apps like Xora, an app whose deletion prompted the recent firing of an employee who resented the idea of being tracked 24/7.  The second kind may seem counterintuitive: apps dedicated to preserving user privacy. Snapchat, an app supposedly dedicated to anonymity and user-data protection, was recently the victim of multiple information leaks. These types of apps are dangerous because they lull users into a sometimes-false sense of security, prompting them to allow more of their information to be used without realizing the finer details of each company’s unique privacy policy.

But the real problem with apps is in their nature. Because they’re installed on a device, and often running in the background, they can constantly draw in new information about a user. Compare this to a few generations back, when the Internet could only be accessed through a hard-wired machine for specific, designated periods of time.

See on Scoop.itWearable Tech and the Internet of Things (Iot)

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