Wearable Computers Will Transform Language

Your Body, Broadcasting Live. Wearable #sensors could spill… innermost secrets http://quibb.com/links/wearable-computers-will-transform-language/view Will we be tweeting our heart rate?


And if you fret about the fate of data being gathered by the smartphone in your pocket, you’ll shudder at the thought of what could leak from hardware in your clothes or on your skin. Wearables will likely record not just what you do and whom you talk to but also the states of your mind and body, including your heart rate, blood pressure, and brain activity—information you probably don’t want shared too widely. What if your boss could measure how focused you are at work? What if your spouse could know whom else you found

Without reliable security, clear privacy laws, and simple user controls, the wearables generations might have few secrets left to keep. People might give up data unwittingly, lured by cheap deals and ignorant of the fine print of privacy policies, says Jason Hong, a privacy and security expert at Carnegie Mellon. Smartphone users, he points out, are often surprised that many free apps keep close tabs on them. He fingers a few notorious snoops: the game Angry Birds, Bible App, and Brightest Flashlight Free. “People don’t expect these apps to collect location data,” he says, but they do. “They send it out to advertisers.”

Records from wearables such as brain sensors could also be used in criminal investigations, says Nita Farahany, who studies the legal implications of emerging technologies at Duke University, in Durham, N.C. Under U.S. law, she explains, “you can’t be forced to testify against yourself, but that doesn’t mean your body can’t be used against you.” If prosecutors can use fingerprints and DNA to get a conviction, what’s to stop them from using scans of a suspect’s thoughts or emotional reactions?


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