Wearable Tech! Wearable Security?

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Wearable tech is going to be big business in 2015: from the Apple smartwatch to Google Glass. But what about wearable security? Mark James talks about a couple of the latest entries.

The first item we have for you is a very stylish pair of jeans with a matching blazer. They’ll be all the rage next season.

Although they are quite unassuming to look at they are made with a special silver-based material that is able to block RFID signals. The kind of signal that contactless payment sometimes uses.

The issue is that crims could potentially scan and steal your card details just by brushing against you, in theory. I asked Mark whether this kind of security was a necessity.

“I don’t think a “necessity” is the right term, they have a place and some people will buy them much like many other forms of security.”

Wallets already exist that use this kind of tech to protect against RFID scanning.


Taking it up a notch


In the same kind of vein, a small group of IT folks in Sweden are having RFID chips implanted into their hands, prescient sci-fi novels of the ‘80’s strike again.

I asked Mark about how secure RFID and other forms of contactless payment are.

“RFID is less secure than NFC, with Chip and Pin in the middle. NFC has options to incorporate biometric security as used by Apple pay and offers a lot more security to protect your transactions.”


A fraud free system


Although not technically wearable tech, a Dutch University has unveiled a supposedly fraud proof credit card, based on quantum physics no less: sci-fi novels strike again!

The science if very interesting indeed and new ideas are great but I asked Mark how likely a fraud-less system really was.

“To be honest I think the likelihood is near zero, the problem is how many companies take up the latest and best technologies.

“There is always a place for very secure and often expensive security but if the high street or online retailers do not adopt it then it will have no place in our everyday lives.

“Sadly people will always choose ease over security, hopefully just enough of each to keep us safe.”

Mark added that he thinks that “Apple could well turn the tide of contactless payments with their “Apple Pay” offering: the apple name will be sufficient for most adopters to use it from the offset and we could see a huge uptake in the UK as long as the big credit card companies are on board.”

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Do you use contactless payment? Would you buy the jeans? Would you have an implant in your hand for NFC?