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Wearable technology, such as Google Glass, Fitbit, Jawbone and Apple Watch, can collect, analyse and share information about the wearer and the people with whom they interact. Marian Derham and Charlie Thompson look at the legal impact of this technology in the workplace.
The initial choice for the employer is whether or not to embrace wearables. Despite some concerns that they present a distraction from work, studies have revealed their benefits.
A survey by Goldsmiths, University of London, reported an 8.5% increase in productivity and a boost in job satisfaction by 3.5%. On that basis, they could be a win-win for employers and employees alike.
Amending policies to cover wearable technology
Where wearable technology is already present in the workplace, seeking to ban devices will often not be workable or desirable. Therefore, an employer should assess the risk to its business of wearable technology and put policies in place making clear to employees the restrictions imposed on how they use their devices while at work.
The starting point would be a revamped BYOD (bring your own device) policy, to protect the organisation’s data security, privacy, intellectual property and confidential information. A BYOD policy could be backed up with other policies such as an anti-harassment policy and grievance an