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Wearable tech raises concerns amongst privacy advocates

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 23:50

Washington: As more and more tech giants are stepping into the wearable computing market, privacy advocates are concerned that these devices could lead to unregulated access to users` private lives.

Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, as Google launched its hi-tech Glass gadget, and critics fear that such devices, which collect troves of user data, can also be misused for malicious purposes threatening one`s privacy.

A privacy and information policy consultant, Robert Gellman said that the word `privacy` does not appear in the Food and Drug Administration`s (FDA) rules, as its guidelines makes no mention of privacy as to who should regulate the data pulled from wearable devices, The Washington Post reports.

Google Glass has a certain app that allows doctors to scan an individual`s face and retrieve all of the person`s medical history from a pre-fed database.

Executive director of Center for Digital Democracy, Jeffrey Chester argued that the mobile device is a digital Trojan horse for privacy, since it enables marketers to know both one`s exact location and where they spend their time, adding that it is now a world where a consumer is identified, analyzed, tracked and can be targeted nearly 24/7.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has said that it will study the growth of Internet-connected sensors, which are used in wearable computing or other hi-tech devices.

Meanwhile, the FDA has said that it plans to regulate the apps which collect user`s medical information.

FTC`s Maneesha Mitha said that health information is sensitive and its collection may raise unique privacy concerns adding that the commission will be discussing ways in which companies can reduce the risks by `baking in` privacy throughout the product design process, the report added.


First Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 23:50

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