The Apple Watch is the most popular smartwatch in the world, but there’s one place you won’t find a single one: the wrist of U.K. government officials. As first reported by the Telegraph, Prime Minister Theresa May has banned Apple Watches in cabinet meetings amid fear that they might be hacked by Russians.
The Apple Watch, which requires a wireless connection with an iPhone in order to perform the vast majority of its features, is primarily a notification and fitness device, though there are built-in email capabilities and messaging features as well.
But what makes the prime minister’s concerns almost laughable is the fact that the watch itself has almost no value as a hacking target. The device can’t communicate directly with the internet, it can’t send data to any device other than the iPhone with which it is paired, and it cannot store data beyond what it has temporarily synced with the paired iPhone.
In other words, the feasible way to “hack” an Apple Watch would be to first gain unrestricted access to the iPhone that delivers its information, and if that had already been accomplished, there would really be no need to access the limited data in the Watch’s cache anyway.
The Telegraph also reports that smartphones in general have been banned from the cabinet, which actually makes a good deal more sense than the seemingly random ban on a device that is only useful if paired with a smartphone. Still, with the United States declaring that Russia was responsible for the recent hack of government emails, it’s probably not surprising that anything with a screen and a microphone looks dangerous to people with sensitive information.
H/T the Telegraph