Why did the chicken cross the road? To add 200 more steps to his daily wearable device count! But did the chicken ever stop to think about the impact to his life if that data were to be breached? I have my doubts.
In today’s world with the increasing number of devices that we use and now wear which contain more and more data about us are we leaving ourselves open to more and more risk? Yes! These devices can provide many great features and improvements to our lives but each individual should be aware of the potential risks or consequences.
- Which road is the chicken using? I’m sure we can find him using location services on any of his many devices. This is an especially scary area for me as a parent. On one hand, it will be great as my son gets older to be able to locate him at any given time but this leaves open the possibility for OTHERS to know where he is at all times.
Imagine if the wearable that you have on you 24X7 was hacked into by your stalker. This would potentially allow the bad guy to monitor your every move at all times. It is one thing to take a selfie and post it online to show everyone that you are out at your favorite hangout. It is another to be running alone on a trail and have the wrong person know that information.
- Did you get a picture of the chicken crossing the road? Of course you did because every device has a camera on it. For example, CameraMan jacket has a built-in HD camera in the left breast pocket area. Imagine if that person is using that camera to take secret photos of all the people he walks by.
I recently was in Las Vegas for a conference and noticed a gentleman taking unapproved photos of me secretly with his phone. I felt violated. I did not give him permission to take my photo. What is he planning to do with that photo? Will it end up online somewhere? If it does, I only hope the comments that accompany the photo are flattering!
In all seriousness, the amount of unsolicited, unapproved photos of each and every one of us out there today is staggering and will only get more out of control as the amount of devices with built in cameras grows. This means the chicken better think twice about crossing that road to go into a questionable store because you never know who is watching.
- Did the chicken hear the car horn blown at him as he crossed the street? Why yes because he has a hearing aid that comes with an app that knows where he is and adjusts the volume accordingly. This is very convenient but what happens if the wrong person is controlling the app? There are medical devices such as insulin pumps that can be controlled by an app. I would not want anyone to be able to control something that could potentially kill me if misused.
- Did the chicken reach his exercise goal for the day? Yes but his goal may not align with the goals of others who now have his health information. Do you think his health insurance rates will go up if his provider notices a decline in his physical activity or an increase in his caloric intake? Big data around your health habits can help and hurt you.
- Did the chicken look stylish crossing the road? Yes, his outfit was killer. Imagine wearing clothes that if hacked into could actually kill you. Does that sound like something out of a science fiction horror film? A bit maybe but with new tech savvy clothing like the ArmorMan pullover that has padding that stiffens on contact to protect the wearer, is it so farfetched to believe that one day your clothing could cause you bodily harm if controlled by the wrong person?
In conclusion, wearables and apps that help our well-being are making the world a better place. However, as with anything in life, it is important for the consumer of the technology to understand it and the potential risks associated with it so they can make an informed decision on if or if not they want to utilize all the services or features that accompany the device or app. I am not trying to make you chicken to embracing the new frontier of technology; I am only presenting food for thought.