Wearable technology - Technology law

Wearable Technology - Bringing Data to Life

If you would like to discuss any legal issues surrounding data protection or privacy law please contact Tom Torkar on tom.torkar@michelmores.com or 01392 687626 or if you are interested in joining the Digital Forum please contact Sarah Laughton on sarah.laughton@michelmores.com or 01392 687479. 

The age of wearable technology is with us and the market is growing; breathing new life and providing fresh insights in to our personal behaviour and performance. With the arrival of smart glasses, smart wristbands, smart watches, smart jewellery and smart clothing/textiles, what are the smart questions we need to be asking to prepare for a future where wearable technology is as mainstream as a smart phone?  

Joss Langford, a director of wearable tech firm ActiveInsights  and a co-founder of Coelition, a not-for-profit company supporting the responsible use of behavioural data by organisations, joined us for the latest South West Digital Forum to discuss his experiences with wearable technology and the vast amount of data they can hold on us as individuals. 

We discussed the many areas of opportunity for businesses for wearable technology, especially in sectors such as health; sports and defence. However, there are also challenges which come with this opportunity, such as the concern over public perception and issues surrounding privacy. The big difficulty with wearable technology is that unlike social media where the user makes a decision to generate a public identity, wearable technology will create profiles in real-time with very detailed information on an individual, which the user may not consciously know is being recorded and analysed. In order to overcome this difficulty the businesses collecting this personal data need to be completely transparent as to the data they collect and how it will be used.

Companies such as Google and Facebook are continuously pushing the boundaries of the law surrounding privacy, which raises the question is the law out of touch with this rapid growth in technology?

So, what is in store for the future? Will wearable technology become the norm? Should they succeed because traditionally, they are part of our culture? The messaging and communication around wearables and how the data collected will be used will prove to be key for this market and data collected could potentially lead to key benefits for consumers and society if used properly.