Reed Smith’s Global Regulatory Enforcement Law Blog features a post on the recent phenomenon of wearable electronic devices and the legal issues that may arise from these gadgets. “Wearable Device Privacy – A Legislative Priority?,” written by Reed Smith attorneys Frederick Lah and Khurram Gore, discusses a recent press release issued by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York expressing concern that personal health data collected by wearable devices and fitness apps, including medical conditions, sleep patterns, calories burned, GPS locations, blood pressure, weight, and more, will be provided to third parties without the user knowing it. Schumer, citing this as a threat to personal privacy, has urged the Federal Trade Commission to mandate that device and app companies provide users with an explicit “opt-out,” allowing them to block the distribution of this information to any third parties.
As the authors note, with the rising popularity of these types of devices, we expect regulators, legislators, and companies to start paying closer attention to the data security and privacy risks associated with their use.