British newspaper The Telegraph reported yesterday that the Apple Watch has been banned from government cabinet meetings after ministers warned wearable devices could be vulnerable to hacking by state-sponsored spies. Smartphones, too, have been barred from cabinet meetings because of similar concerns, with one source saying that “the Russians are trying to hack everything.”
Under UK’s former prime minister David Cameron, several cabinet ministers wore smartwatches, including the former Justice Secretary Michael Gove.
Under the new prime minister Theresa May, ministers have been barred from wearing smartwatches over fear that they could be used by hackers “as listening devices.”
Earlier in the summer, Apple’s Siri was entered as a speaker in an official Australian Parliament transcript as “Hey Siri” accidentally kicked into action and derailed a hearing.
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According to The Verge, Apple’s wearable device has been banned from Australian cabinet meetings, too. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is a technology fan, used to check his Apple Watch in the chamber of the House of Representatives, but not anymore.
He is now obliged to take it off before cabinet meetings, a government spokesman has confirmed, due to a long-standing policy that no communication devices may be taken into the sensitive room.
As noted by Alastair MacGibbon, who is an advisor for Turnbull on cyber security, greater attention must be paid to communications security as more Internet-connected personal devices emerge, “from glasses to running shoes.”
Source: The Telegraph