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IPFS News Link • Surveillance

A new wave of wearable devices will collect a mountain on information on us...

•, By Luis Quintero

Web and mobile services try to understand the desires and goals of users by analysing how their interact with their platforms. Smartphones, for instance, capture online data from users at a large scale and low cost.

Policymakers have reacted by enforcing mechanisms to mitigate the risks inherent in tech companies storing and processing their citizens' private information, such as health data.

Wearable devices are now becoming a more significant element in this discussion due to their ability to collect continuous data, without the wearer necessarily being aware of it. Wearables such as smart watches gather an array of measurements on your wellbeing, such as sleep patterns, activity levels and heart fitness.

Today, there are portable devices to obtain high-quality data from brain activityeye trackers, and the skin (to detect temperature and sweat). Consumers can buy small devices to measure the body's responses that were exclusively available only to research institutions a few decades ago.

Although wearables are commercially focused on health monitoring, researchers have long envisioned capturing other kinds of data on a user. A computer that could collect useful information related to a person's brain activity, heart and skin function, or their movement patterns would be able to understand a huge amount about the user.

But it's AI that could prove a game changer. Smaller wearables combined with AI algorithms to process the data could produce tools that amplify and augment our goals and performance in life. But there are also downsides to all this information gathering.