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Wearable technologies and data protection

1 September 2014

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) recently submitted a paper to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) setting out their support for wearable technologies in response to the FTC's consultation on the pros and cons of these innovative devices. 

Whilst Google glasses are very much a lifestyle device, there are many wearable technologies that are focussed on health and fitness. 

The CEA gave examples of connected personal health devices (such as blood pressure monitors) and insulin pumps, connected fitness tracking devices such as pedometers and heart rate monitors, connected wellness devices such as sleep, stress and diet monitors and health and wellness software such as health software apps and health and wellness services.

The Information Commissioner's Office in the UK recently published a blog indicating that wearable technologies that gather personal data that are used in a domestic setting are not subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 but the same Act does apply to manufacturers of wearable technologies that collect personal data as well as those that manage or host wearable technology services.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner in Canada recently published a paper examining the privacy implications of wearable technologies indicating that the Canadian privacy laws apply to wearable technologies in all sectors which they categorise as fitness, infotainment, healthcare and industrial/military.

As regulators grapple with the new technology that once again helps strips the law, so consumers grip wearable technology without grasping the potential invasion of their privacy.

This article was written by Robert Bond.

For more information contact Robert on +44 (0)20 7427 6660 or robert.bond@crsblaw.com