PRIVACY

Clothes That Will Keep The NSA At Bay

Mar 17, 2015 at 3:17 PM ET

What if you want to sport a wearable device, but don’t want to make it easier for the NSA to snoop on your conversations?

Perhaps, then, you’d opt for something like these: Stealth Wear, which shields the wearer from thermal imaging used by drones. Another line, Kovert Designs, features jewelry that blocks messages and phone calls from everyone except those from predetermined people or that include specific key words. The Intel Spider Dress is more about personal space than digital space. It juts out when someone gets too close to the wearer. There are also umbrellas that block cellphone receptions.

The intersection of internet fashion and privacy is becoming more of a consideration because millennials and post-millennials are 28 percent more likely than other generations to switch products or services based on privacy concerns, according to a study presented at Tuesday’s SXSW panel “Privacy Is In Fashion: Who Will Wear It Well?”

“Fashion is all about context and nuance. It is all about being attuned to the different contexts and etiquettes to move through during your day. Privacy requires the same sort of subtlety,” said Eliza Esquivel, Vice President of Global Brand and Creative Excellence at Mondelez International, and one of the speakers on the panel.

“On the one hand, [millennials and post-millennials] are exhibitionist, but on the other, they are deeply, deeply concerned with privacy,” said Annie Auerbach, Global Joint Head of cultural intelligence at the Flamingo Group, another panel speaker. “For teens, privacy is not about keeping quiet. Privacy is about owning the story.”