Apple Watch logoYesterday, to much fanfare, Apple made several big announcements — including that of a brand new Apple Watch. The watch, which will retail for anywhere from $349 for the Apple Sport model to as high as $17,000 for high-end, solid gold editions, can be pre-ordered starting on April 10. Apple claims the device will be more than a watch — it will improve people’s efficiency, health and fitness. Functions of the watch include health tracking, the ability to read emails, message people, answer calls and even make purchases with Apple Pay. This may sound like a lot of features to have on a device you wear on your wrist, but the biggest question this device and other wearables pose: is your data safe?

Apple Watch and HealthKit aim to improve fitness

This first version of the Apple Watch disappointed some due to its lack of health tracking features, but it is designed with one simple, yet potentially life-changing feature: a haptic sensor. This sensor tracks three behaviors — moving (or walking), exercise and standing — with a simple ring design to show your daily progress. The app promises rewards as you complete each ring, although these rewards haven’t yet been outlined. To help remind people to move, the haptic sensor sends pulses along with a digital reminder every hour to get you to stand more often. The pulse essentially feels like a tap on the wrist, according to Forbes.

Apple Watch

Screenshot of the Apple Watch launch page

The Apple Watch isn’t the company’s first foray into health tracking. The iPhone 6 was introduced in the fall of 2014 with HealthKit, which collects data from various health and fitness apps to display information in an easily digestible format. The overall objective of this software for Apple, however, is for this data to eventually be sent straight to your doctor. At the Apple Watch launch event, it also announced a new tool called ResearchKit which would allow researchers to create apps that turn the data from HealthKit into diagnostic tools.

Is your data safe?

While all of these new health tracking tools certainly have their advantage, it’s also worth wondering whether or not allowing the company that creates your phone or watch to have access to your health information is smart. According to Apple, all data stored on your device is encrypted, and it requires all apps with access to have a privacy policy. However, it’s up to you to read those privacy policies to ensure your data is being used properly. Additionally, the app will also have access to your messages, email, Apple Pay information and more. As last year’s iCloud hack showed, Apple’s security might not be the strongest. The sad truth is, any data on your devices is potentially at risk, and so you must make decisions about whether or not you want to allow your devices to record that information.

Apple isn’t the only company producing wearable devices that track your health data, and the push for people to adopt these technologies is likely to grow as they get tested and improved. Get more information about how to protect your personal data by reading our identity theft protection blog.