Increased Use of Wearable Tech in Public Spaces: Privacy Rights Backlash

The popularity of using mobile wireless technologies has spurred a growth market in so-called wearable technology. From watches to eyeglasses to jewelry accessories and exercise training equipment, a revolution in smart technology promises to provide greater Internet connectivity to millions of people. However, when used in public areas, some have expressed serious concerns about privacy.

As more people use this type of technology in shared spaces, a backlash against privacy rights may also increase. By 2020 alone, some analysts forecast that an astonishing 305 million individual units of smart “wearables” will reach consumers in developed nations. This number represents a massive technological change with the potential of transforming the way most people work and conduct their daily schedules.

Significant Considerations

One trend flowing from this shift pertains to increasing mobility, a situation that lends importance to apps (vis-à-vis website browsers). The increasing reliance of many people on small mobile devices already has led to the creation of an ever-expanding number of applications designed to promote and gather data about specific services. 

Additionally, many apps work to relay real-time data from mobile users. Couple these developments with recent innovations to enhance battery life and the development of larger database capacities, and the marketing of consumer data potentially becomes highly intrusive. This situation promises to spark greater privacy concerns in the future. Does a ubiquitous Internet imply an unrestricted right to market personal information?

Privacy Backlash

Some experts believe these developments will soon spark a privacy backlash, as consumers gain more information about the extent of data collection and marketing. It’s one thing to have individual information sold as part of a faceless mass statistic and quite another to become the subject of intrusive soliciting campaigns.

Entries such as: “330,000 million people visit XYZ shopping mall and 45,000 of these people need new shoes” provide the grist for effective retail marketing efforts. Yet individually specific real-time entries, such as: “Jane Doe just drove through the north mall entrance at 10:15 and Big Data predicts she’s shopping for new shoes” pose a personal privacy concern. The former data blip represents legitimate market reporting, whereas the latter could provide a data stream of a different order.

Secure Your Wireless Networks

Today, securing a company’s wireless networks and protecting the privacy of customers in public areas from unauthorized intrusion remain a top priority. Corporate espionage, malware, spam attacks and other threats pose a hazard for legitimate business entities. When you require well-informed, state-of-the-art IT consulting, broadband and portal services, and 24/7 technical services for both wired and wireless networks, contact Safety NetAccess.