Legal problems associated with the use of wearablesNew technologies offer a cutting-edge gadgets for monitoring, reporting and measurement of various indicators in the behavior and reactions of employees and customers. Initially, the so-called "wearables" were actively used by elite sports clubs to track key performance indicators of professional athletes. Gradually the interest to wearables increases and today they are used by the banks, consulting firms and call centers.
Although currently is associated with a small number of devices – smart glasses, watches and fitness bands, the wearable technology is on the rise.
The use of such devices for recording data from employees or customers creates a number of legal problems. Data protection against unauthorized access, threat of disclosure of trade secrets and confidential information, improperly collecting and recording of information concerning privacy are some of the most serious issues demanding special attention.
Wearable technologies will be far more widely used in workplaces and their use could cause serious challenges for companies.

However, if some appropriate legal measures applied the risks could be minimized.

1. Amendments in the labor contracts of employees using wearables at work.
It is essential to be included provisions, regulating the procedures for using wearables as well as restrictions, prohibitions and penalties for unregulated use or use in violation of procedures.
Further, additional measures for protecting the data stored in devices can be implemented.
Employees must be familiar with the company's policy on protection of personal data when using wearables.

2. Trade secrets protection.
Wearable devices in the workplace facilitate leaking of confidential information. Companies with sensitive business secrets and other confidential information should be seriously concerned about protection of their secrets. Employers can undertake measures for employee access to such information by setting different levels of access. Another appropriate measure in protecting trade secrets is implementing certain restrictions to employees prohibiting the sharing of company information on social networks, forums, emails etc.

3. Intellectual property protection.
The business should take every care to ensure that valuable IP assets of the company (patents, copyright in the source code, databases, designs etc.) are kept private.Employers may restrict or prohibit the use of wearable devices by employees who have access to valuable information on the intellectual property of the company.

Collecting data from companies using wearable technologies should be transparent and within the law boundaries. This means at least that, the fundamental principles of personal data collection are followed, namely - providing information to the persons whose data is collected, disclosure of the purposes of data collection, obtaining explicit consent for the processing of personal data and use of the highly advanced technology for data protection.

Although currently is associated with a small number of devices – smart glasses, watches and fitness bands, the wearable technology is on the rise. According to a 2014 study by Forbes, 71% of 16-to-24 year olds want wearable tech.

On the other hand, the data collected by wearables provoke strong interest for marketing and promotional purposes. For example, access to information on individual needs, health and physical condition of the people reveals excellent prospects for more precise targeting of products of pharmaceutical companies.

Evgeniya Gancheva

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Tags: Technology