According to the report, at least some of the worries surrounding the device stem from concerns that Russian hackers might somehow use mobile devices to listen in on official meetings.
Although we have yet to hear of an incident in which hackers have penetrated government security by eavesdropping via smartwatch, in theory, such a possibility isn’t completely outlandish.
While the Apple Watch generally depends on the iPhone for its connection the internet, if your iPhone is out of range or turned off, you can still use the smartwatch with Wi-Fi networks that have previously connected to your iPhone. Among the list of things you can do in such an instance: get emails and make and receive phone calls — two vectors hackers love to exploit. And let’s not forget that the Apple Watch has a microphone, which, in combination with a Wi-Fi connection, could present (no matter how unlikely) a hacking opportunity.
Sure, these Wi-Fi scenarios aren’t the most common Apple Watch use cases, but apparently it’s enough of a vulnerability to prompt concerns from UK government officials.
Previously, Prime Minister David Cameron allowed the smartwatches during meetings, but new PM Theresa May, who has a reputation for backing aggressive government surveillance policies, reportedly instituted the ban. Perhaps May knows something many of us don’t?