LG G Watch & Samsung Gear 2 Neo Raise Privacy Issues; Apple Watch Still Under Hack Testing

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LG G Android Wear smartwatch
IN PHOTO: A demo LG G Android Wear smartwatch is displayed at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco June 25, 2014. Picture taken June 25, 2014. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

Results of a research conducted by the University of New Haven indicated that other people can easily extract private information about a smartwatch user. As reported by CNET, the smartwatches that were the easiest to hack into were the Samsung Gear 2 Neo and the LG G Watch.

For the Gear 2 Neo, researchers were able to tap into the user’s contact list, text messages, private email addresses and health data. With regard the G Watch, the user unknowingly got his saved calendar events, pedometer data and contact list nabbed. As stated in the report, the main reason this was doable was none of the data were encrypted.

“It was not very difficult to get the data,” stated Ibrahim Baggili, the director of the UNH’s Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group, otherwise known as UNHCFREG. They will submit their findings in a report they will present during the Ares Conference in August.

Since smartwatches started to become a fad in pop culture, Strategy Analytics, a known market researcher, determined that various device makers in 2014 alone shipped a total of 4.6 million units all over the world. The company predicted that sales will increase to 28.1 million by this year but this estimate is still a far cry from the actual number of smartphone units that have had any movement.

As assumed by many, a huge portion of this estimated increase will be riding on how well the Apple Watch does, which became available to the tech market late in April. This wearable device from the Cupertino tech giant can track health, fitness, daily phone calls and even electronic purchases.

The G Watch and the Gear 2 Neo are just two of the smartwatches that run on Google’s Android Wear OS. The researchers from UNH were able to hack into the users’ private data by merely poking through the files and finding traces of what activities the smartwatch has accomplished so far – especially in relation to the Android smartphone it is connected with.

The researchers have just started testing out the Apple Watch.

For feedback/questions, please contact reporter at doctormarieathena@yahoo.com.

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