The Apple Watch won't be causing lines at Apple stores until at least March of next year (I'm guessing, they just said "early next year"), but people are already nervous about the privacy issues it might introduce into our already privacy-compromised world.
As the New York Times reports, the Apple Pay system that comes with the watch may be the least of our worries as it does not store any payment information.
Apple Pay relies on a technology called near-field communication to exchange information wirelessly between devices. The new payment system could also drive faster adoption of a chip-based security feature called EMV, for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the companies that first backed the technology.
EMV is more secure than the magnetic stripes on credit cards because a new string of numbers is created for each purchase, making it difficult for hackers to use a stolen number for another purchase or to counterfeit credit cards. The technology has been widely adopted in Europe, but American banks have been slow to use it.
Apparently this EMV thing, if all major stores adopted it, would make the major data breaches that have recently occurred at Target and Home Depot impossible.
As for the much discussed health apps that are expected to be a major draw for Apple Watch users, the responsibility for protecting the privacy of peoples' health information is largely going to lie with app developers, and Apple says it has the tools to police this.
They've forbidden app developers from letting health data get stored, either on devices or in the iCloud, but it remains to be seen how else such information could be mishandled.
Don't even get started on the creepy stalker functionality they've included that let's you "gently tap" someone on their wrist, remotely. Shivers.