The U.K. government has reportedly banned the Apple Watch from top-level meetings

Apple Watch Series 2
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
The British government has banned its top officials from wearing the Apple Watch during high-level Cabinet meetings over fears the device could be hacked by foreign agents acting against the U.K., the Telegraph reported on Monday.

While some may scoff at the idea of the smartwatch being taken over by hackers, others are likely to look upon it as a perfectly reasonable reaction to a very real threat.

Apple’s smartwatch has a built-in microphone which security officials believe could be hacked to snoop on government meetings. It’s not clear if the ban extends to other makes of smartwatch.

In late 2013, under David Cameron’s premiership, iPhones and iPads were banned from top-level meetings. It was reported at the time that leading government officials were even told to place their mobile devices inside lead-lined, soundproof boxes whenever they were in a confidential meeting.

The decision to ban the Apple Watch was apparently taken by Theresa May and her advisors after she replaced David Cameron as leader over the summer.

One source told the Telegraph that the extra security has been put in place because the Russians “are trying to hack everything.”

Russian and Chinese hackers have been repeatedly accused by Western governments of carrying out cyberattacks on a growing number of institutions and organizations. Just last Friday, for example, the U.S. Intelligence Community said it believes hackers with links to the Russian government have orchestrated several high-profile cyber attacks since 2015.

A joint statement issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said a number of hacks were “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”

The Russian authorities have always denied any wrongdoing, with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin himself describing claims that his government is behind the cyberattacks as “rubbish.”

Still, banning Apple’s smartwatch from U.K. Cabinet meetings may puzzle some as the device has reduced functionality when it’s away from its paired iPhone, though it can still connect to Wi-Fi networks that were previously connected to with Apple’s handset. It seems that the mere existence of a microphone on the watch is enough for the British government to ban the device, the U.K. authorities clearly erring on the side of caution as it seeks to keep its private conversations private.

Web

Data stolen from HealthCare.gov includes partial SSNs and immigration status

Around 75,000 users have had their user data stolen from government site healthcare.gov, including information on their immigration status, whether they were pregnant, and partial social security numbers.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Wearables

Fitbit's latest update brings 'Quick Replies' feature to the Charge 3

Back in August, Fitbit confirmed its new wearable -- the Fitbit Charge 3. The new fitness tracker features a touchscreen OLED display, smartwatch capabilities, enhanced fitness features and more. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Wearables

The Michael Kors Access Runway smartwatch will soon be available in ceramic

Michael Kors has brought back the Access Runway name it last used in 2016, and this time attached it to a Wear OS smartwatch, complete with new tech, and a cool way of customizing the watch face, too.
Wearables

Wearable in Google patent will shake, bake, and shine to signal notifications

A new Google patent suggests that Google may be working on getting into the wearable game after all. The patent describes a wearable device that can vibrate, light up, and pulse when notifications arrive.
Mobile

Here's a look at what's inside Fossil's Pop-up Shop in New York

Fossil has released its first-ever smartwatch featuring Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 3100. The Fossil Sport comes packed with a heart rate monitor, built-in GPS, NFC, and Google's latest version of Wear OS. Here's everything you need to know.
Wearables

Hublot’s newest luxury watch costs $25,000, and you can only pay in Bitcoin

The Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 P2P is the latest luxury timepiece from the watch brand, and is a special limited edition made to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin. Eager buyers must use the cryptocurrency to buy one.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for November 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for November 2018

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

The world’s first smartglasses showrooms open in Brooklyn and Toronto

Canadian startup North is hoping smartglasses will be the next big wearable. After announcing its new Focals smartglasses in October, the company opened product showrooms in Brooklyn and Toronto.