Smartwatches And Why You Should Avoid Them

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Smartwatches And Why You Should Avoid Them

Smartwatches And Why You Should Avoid Them

--Michael Sfougaristos
A new report that came out on October 18th by the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) and the security firm Mnemonic, is urging parents and adults to think twice before buying a smartwatch. 

Sure smartwatches look great and offer so many features that supposedly we are pushed to believe we need, but do you really think you can't live without a smartwatch? If your a parent feeling the pressure creeping up on you from your child's non stop begging, here are some thoughts to keep in mind. 

According to the Telegraph October 18th 2017, John Lewis (England)  has opted out of selling smartwatches amid concerns the smartwatches could easily be hacked and used to spy on us. Hackers could easily follow their movements and eavesdrop on conversations. The NCC and security firm Mnemonic found that several smartwatch devices they tested had alarmingly critical security flaws. This is serious news and sadly it may not get the coverage it deserves in the USA for obvious reasons. It's not only Norway that has raised a red flag against smartwatches. England's National Cyber Security Center also alerted its citizens to be weary of purchasing smartwatches for their kids. To be more precise, the NCC tested smartwatch brands, Gator 2, Tinitell, Viksfjord and Xplora in all of which found shocking security flaws. Mnemonic security firm did not excluded the possibility of software security flaws being also implemented on other smartwatch brands. 

Market research firm Gartner, believes that by the year 2021, 30% of all smartwatch sales would be for children. That doesn't shock me as we are a generation of technology driven people. It's more concerning that we as people move more and more towards a world with no privacy and it doesn't seem to click any concerns in our mind. Whatever happened to normal watches? It's not like you can't find a "normal" watch that will have the aesthetic look your looking for. Watches come out in hundreds of thousand different designs, and looks. At some point, we have to start to understand that not everything technologically is always good for us. At least when it comes to kids, maybe parents should think twice about buying a smartwatch for their loved one(s).

Now let's return again to the smartwatches that were tested by the NCC and I will show you guys a chart that will literally leave you with your mouth open. Remember the smartwatches I mentioned earlier, Gator 2, Tinitell, Viksfjord and Xplora? Well these watches were found to disregard fundamental opt-in agreements to sharing data. Basically this means that their is no legal pact that hold the smartwatch companies obligated to keep your data private and secured. Also the NCC found that NONE of these watches allowed them to delete the child's personal data. Want to know more? None of these smartwatches tell you clearly where your data is being stored. I hypothesize that data stored in smartwatches surely ends up in some unknown server without our consent. 

Because words are words and sometimes can get a bit boring, the following Image from the NCC should sum up what we just talked about. 

There is though some glimmer of hope to all of this. In 2017 traditional watches out paced smartwatches in sales and this is forecast to continue into 2018. Watches are made to tell time and there is nothing more beautiful then a traditional watch especially when taking the time to choose the one that looks best for you. The right type of traditional "normal" watch serves also the purpose of letting everyone know who you are and what you stand for. Watches were always deeply connected with sort of sending strong signals about what we stand for. Besides, who wants to constantly worry about charging his/her watch?

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