A user perspective on the vulnerabilities of smart watches: is security a concern?
Nowadays, we are witnessing a serious gain in popularity of the wearable smart things. A triumphalist language referring to their benefits can be noticed in mass media, revealing the hype in their adoption. Multiple advantages are perceived by the consumers, and work as positive drivers in the wearables market. Yet, there is little awareness regarding their privacy and security – such concerns are constantly expressed by academia, but usually ignored by buyers and manufacturers. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to provide some preliminary insights into how do the users perceive vulnerabilities as interferences, frequent disconnections, hardware and software malfunctions, improper/difficult configuration etc. of hand worn devices. The analysis was realized by means of netnography, using emag.ro, the oldest and largest ecommerce site in Romania as online source. Inspired by a similar study conducted by (Genaro Motti & Caine, 2016), we selected and reviewed 931 comments posted by the buyers of the ten most popular smart watches, in order to identify the hardware, software and connectivity problems they faced while using the devices and to assess the awareness of the buyers to security and privacy issues. Also, an overview of the privacy and security policies published by selected smart watches’ manufactures was made, and some conclusion regarding the recommended future actions for wearable buyers, sellers and manufacturers were presented.
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