Wearable technology consists of clothes or clothing accessories that incorporate some form of computer or electronic technology. A common example of this is a bracelet that monitors the number of steps that the wearer takes in a day. Wearable technology can incorporate technology such as:
- Ability to record video or audio
- Monitoring of the wearer’s vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.)
- Tracking of movements through GPS, especially through doors or with a company car
- Ability to send e-mail, text, or other data and documents
- Password access to secure areas or computer information
- Links to computer or internet networks
Common forms of wearable technology include:
- Various forms of fashion accessories, such as necklaces, bracelets, and watches
- Clothing or attachments and items clipped onto clothing
What Are Some Legal Issues Associated with Wearable Technology in the Workplace?
Many employers are requiring workers to make use of wearable technology during the performance of their daily work duties. These employment practices may create legal issues, including:
- Violations of employee privacy rights, especially with regards to their whereabouts, and with regards to biological data
- Situations involving industrial espionage (for instance, if someone uses wearable technology to record video or audio of a competitor without their permission)
- Hacking of wearable technology, which can often lead to violations of trade secrets and copyright infringement
- Secretly recording conversations
- Issues with wiretapping and other unsound business practices
What If I Have a Legal Issue Involving Wearable Technology?
Legal violations that involve wearable technology can lead to serious legal consequences. These can include monetary damages, and in some cases, criminal charges. Since wearable technology is so new, it is necessary to understand exactly how the technology works and how it can affect an employee or employer’s rights.
Most wearable technology is capable of storing or transferring data records, and these records can then be used as evidence in court if needed. Many types of legal disputes can be prevented or minimized by including wearable technology terms in the employee’s employment contract or requesting that a contract include such terms.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Wearable Technology Laws?
Wearable technology is quite a recent phenomenon. This means that laws governing the technology may still be evolving, and may vary from state to state. You may need to hire an employment lawyer if you have any legal issues in your workplace that involve wearable technology. Your attorney can research the laws to determine what your legal rights and options are. If you need to file a lawsuit or make an appearance in court, your lawyer can provide representation during the process as well.