Apple Watch Already Facing Questions Concerning User Privacy

Though it won't be released until early 2015, Apple's new wearable device is already facing public scrutiny over privacy issues. Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking several questions about how the Apple Watch will operate and requesting a meeting with Apple representatives.

In the letter, Jepsen addresses several issues he has with the Apple Watch, and requests that Apple explains what data the device will collect and how the information will be stored, along with its policies on apps that access health information.

applewatch1

In his letter, the Attorney General noted several areas of concern, including:

-Whether Apple will allow consumers to store personal and health information on Apple Watch itself and/or on its servers, and if so, how information will be safeguarded;

-If and how Apple will review application privacy policies to ensure that users' health information is safeguarded;

-If and how Apple intends to enforce policies that require the rejection of applications that provide diagnoses, treatment advice, or control hardware designed to diagnose or treat medical conditions that do not provide written regulatory approval;

-What information Apple Watch and its applications will collect from users, and how Apple and application developers will obtain consent to collect and share such information from these individuals; and

-How Apple intends to monitor and enforce applications' compliance with its guidelines concerning users' health information.

Many of these questions actually seem to pertain more to Apple's HealthKit APIs, and several of the answers to Jepson's questions are detailed in Apple's Review Guidelines for developers that was updated in June.

In the document, Apple says that HealthKit information will not be stored in iCloud and that apps attempting to store health data in iCloud will be rejected. It also states that apps will not be able to share data with third parties without express user consent and that all apps that provide diagnoses or treatment advice will be rejected.

Introduced on September 9, the Apple Watch is designed to be both fashionable and functional, aiming to encourage its users to be more active. It includes an accelerometer and four lenses designed to monitor heart rate, with the information collected displayed in several accompanying fitness apps. The heart rate and fitness data will also likely integrate with the Health app in iOS 8, which is designed to aggregate health and fitness data from a wide range of devices that have taken advantage of the HealthKit API.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

afsnyder Avatar
125 months ago
And no one blinked an eye when Samsung released their smartwatches with similar sensors?...
Score: 120 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Patriot24 Avatar
125 months ago
Suggested Title Edit:

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen Sends Letter to Tim Cook in Attempt to Remain Relevant in Public Eye as Mid-Term Elections Near
Score: 113 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roland.g Avatar
125 months ago
Connecticut Attorney General makes publicity grab. Next.
Score: 85 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MattG Avatar
125 months ago
And no one blinked an eye when Samsung released their smartwatches with similar sensors?...

That's because people will actually buy the Apple ones.
Score: 79 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TsunamiTheClown Avatar
125 months ago
Honestly I am more concerned with the Feds than the folks at Apple.

Cause we know that those guys don't give a damn about our privacy here in the States.
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
axual Avatar
125 months ago
Government concern

Funny how a government can ask questions, but then someone like Lois Lerner and the IRS can lose an entire hard drive with valuable and likely incriminating evidence without most people caring.

Apple has all the incentive to keep peoples data secure. The government does not and that's not good.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven

Apple Reportedly Stops Production of FineWoven Accessories

Sunday April 21, 2024 6:03 am PDT by
Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future. Kosutami has revealed...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store [Updated]

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, GameCube, Wii,...
iOS 17 All New Features Thumb

iOS 17.5 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday April 21, 2024 3:00 am PDT by
The upcoming iOS 17.5 update for the iPhone includes only a few new user-facing features, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities. Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 beta so far. Web Distribution Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU...
apple vision pro orange

Apple Vision Pro Customer Interest Dying Down at Some Retail Stores

Monday April 22, 2024 2:12 am PDT by
Apple Vision Pro, Apple's $3,500 spatial computing device, appears to be following a pattern familiar to the AR/VR headset industry – initial enthusiasm giving way to a significant dip in sustained interest and usage. Since its debut in the U.S. in February 2024, excitement for the Apple Vision Pro has noticeably cooled, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On...
top stories 20apr2024

Top Stories: Nintendo Emulators on App Store, Two New iOS 17 Features, and More

Saturday April 20, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
It was a big week for retro gaming fans, as iPhone users are starting to reap the rewards of Apple's recent change to allow retro game emulators on the App Store. This week also saw a new iOS 17.5 beta that will support web-based app distribution in the EU, the debut of the first hotels to allow for direct AirPlay streaming to room TVs, a fresh rumor about the impending iPad Air update, and...