The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has announced that it seized a shipment of counterfeit wearable devices valued at about $35,000. The shipment came from Hong Kong and arrived at the US in early December.
The CBP declined to name the exact products that were seized, but did indicate that they are wearable devices valued at about $100 each. That rules out most of the major smartwatches, which tend to be more expensive, meaning the devices were likely fitness tracking bracelets.
These kinds of counterfeit goods seizures are relatively regular occurrences for the CBP, but the specific nature of the products in this case is somewhat unusual, and, in a way, it’s testament to the growing popularity of wearables devices.
It’s also worrisome, of course. Last summer, Canadian authorities arrested an Albertan who had sold counterfeit smartphones made in China, highlighting the dangers of transmitting sensitive data over smart devices when there is a risk that their security infrastructure may be faulty – especially if they turn out to be counterfeit products. A similar risk is entailed in wearables, which are in general transmitting more and more sensitive data, especially with the potential rise of the smartwatch. All the more reason for consumers to make sure that the products they buy are legitimate, as companies like Apple appear to be genuinely interested in ensuring that their devices secure user data.