Vanderbilt alum, retired CIA chief tech officer talks wearables

Ira August "Gus" Hunt III (Photo courtesy of VentureBeat)

A Vanderbilt engineering graduate who retired from the CIA discussed recently what wearable technology can do — including hand valuable information about users to hackers.

A clip of Ira “Gus” Hunt appeared in a Fox News investigative piece on devices such as Fitbit and Jawbone, which people use to improve their health. The news report said much information is captured and transferred to smartphones that users may not want out there, including specific daily routines.

“Simply by looking at the data can find out with pretty good accuracy what your gender is, whether you are tall or short, whether you are heavy or light. But what’s really interesting is you can 100 percent be identified by your gait,” Hunt said in a clip where he addressed a conference of tech experts.

“This is something you have to worry about you think about cyber threats as they emerge. It’s not just going to be your business (that they’re attacking). Ultimately it’s going to be about your health. Things are going to be at risk if you’re not careful,” he said.

Hunt is interested in wearable technology in his new position, particularly for the military and law enforcement, according to a Venture Beat article about his new career.

Last year, Hunt joined San-Francisco-based investment firm Artis Ventures as an adviser, helping young companies win lucrative federal contracts. One of his final tasks at the CIA was overseeing a 10-year, $600 million contract with Amazon for cloud services.

Hunt earned a civil engineering bachelor’s from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering in 1977 and a master’s in 1982. He joined the CIA in 1985 and retired as chief technology officer in 2013.


Heidi Hall, (615) 322-6614
On Twitter @HeidiHallTN