Smart Wearables: A Consumer Nightmare?

In 2015, it is predicted 58 million consumers will own a wearable device. That is three times the total number who owned them in 2014. With the use of smart wearables on the rise, the desire to use these screens for advertising has, too. And because of the habitual data available, it could be the most disturbing invasion of privacy yet.

Most wearables collect sleep, health and fitness information, as well as geographic information. Voluntarily collecting this amount of personal data is harmless when the devices are used for their intended purposes. The issue arises when marketers and outside companies get access to your data.

So, how invasive are they? Imagine shopping in the snack aisle and receiving a coupon for cookies because your smart glasses recognized where you were or receiving an ad for a free entrée at the new Mexican restaurant because of your proximity to its address. You received these ads because companies knew exactly where you were because of your wearables. The targeting possibilities and the data collected by devices are practically endless.


Not only do these devices have real-time targeting capabilities, but they also have the ability to store and analyze habitual data. If you always finish a workout at 5, ads for running shoes could be on your wrist at 5:15. With companies having access to the information collected on your wearables, nothing is sacred.

As the technology associated with these devices becomes more advanced, it’s possible health insurances and other companies could use your data to calculate rates. So, though there are benefits to those who are more active, people with more unfavorable habits could literally pay for their unhealthy choices.

There is no doubt the ability to advertise on wearables will grow in the near future. However, the question remains: should companies have that opportunity?

We would love to hear your opinion on whether marketers and companies should have access to data from your wearable devices.