Conn. AG Questions Apple Watch SecurityCalls for Meeting to Discuss Privacy Concerns
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen is calling on Apple Inc. to spell out the security steps the company will take to protect the privacy of information gathered using the Apple Watch device, slated for release in early 2015.
"When new technologies emerge in consumer markets they inevitably lead to new questions, including questions about privacy," Jepsen says. "I have found that asking those questions and engaging in a proactive dialogue about privacy concerns before a product comes to market is an effective and mutually beneficial way to ensure that consumer privacy is protected."
The new Apple Watch, according to the company, enables users to send and receive messages and runs health and fitness apps.
"I am encouraged by Apple's representations that personal health information will be encrypted on the Apple Watch and that users will decide which applications gain access to their health data," he says. "However, as personal information will no doubt be collected and stored in some way, questions remain."
Jepsen is seeking a meeting with Apple representatives to go over areas of concern, such as:
- 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;
- How Apple will review application privacy policies to ensure that users' health information is safeguarded;
- How Apple intends to enforce policies that require the rejection of applications that provide diagnoses or treatment advice, or control hardware designed to diagnose or treat medical conditions;
- 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; and
- How Apple intends to monitor and enforce applications' compliance with its guidelines concerning users' health information.
Jepsen's meeting invitation follows a request to Apple from Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., for a briefing on its investigation into the unauthorized access to iCloud data, which resulted in photos of high-profile celebrities being released (see: Senators Probe Home Depot, Apple Breaches).