We’re all already cyborgs. Whether you’re wearing glasses, sensing the dimensions of your car as you’re parking, or even “feeling” the texture of your food as you skewer it with a fork, you are directly experiencing the mind’s ability to extend itself and enmesh itself with technology – no cyberpunk implants required. Because we’re cyborgs, we have a natural inclination to pull tools and technology closer to ourselves, which has played out in the rise of everything from the Walkman to wearable fitness trackers to, most recently, the Apple Vision Pro.

But today’s smart devices do more than just expand our minds. Sitting as they do at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds, they generate data that combine to describe almost every aspect of a person’s online and offline life, creating precisely the kind of comprehensive asset that hungry advertisers, governments, and even career cybercriminals dream of. Wearable technology has vast promise, but it comes with unprecedented risks to our privacy. Only by understanding the dimensions of those risks can we preserve the benefits of wearables while promoting safety and transparency.

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