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ICO Warns, Wearable Technology Must Comply with UK Data Privacy Laws

  • By Allie Philpin 
  • Category: News 
  • Comments (0) 

Following the UK launch of Google Glass, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned that wearable technology must comply the UK’s data privacy laws.

With wearable technology likely to become as popular as mobile devices in the future, Andrew Paterson, senior technology officer at the ICO, says that they will force UK companies to consider their response to wearable technology, and he gave the example that some US bar owners have banned Google Glass because their customers’ are concerned about being filmed without their consent or knowledge.

Paterson said: “In the UK, this means making sure that these devices operate in line with the requriements of the UK Data Protection Act (DPA).”

That said, using a device like Google Glass for your own purposes is unlikely to breach the DPA, including the exemption for the collection of personal information for domestic purposes.  However, should companies process personal information, they will need to ensure information collected by these devices comply with legislation.

Wearable technology that can capture video or pictures will need to comply with the ICO’s CCTV Code of Practice.  Paterson also advised that there is guidance on the Surveillance Camera Comissioner’s website which contains direct relevance to the use of wearables containing cameras.

Sue McLean from law firm Morrison and Foerster, added: “Companies have to be very clear on how and why employees use wearable technology, make sure they are clear what the rules are, and that they have taken adequate precautions to comply with privacy regulations and the law.”

By Allie Philpin

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