Wearable Technology in the Workplace

The use of wearable technology in the workplace is becoming increasingly popular and a number of surveys suggest that the use of such technology could provide certain benefits to employees, such as increasing productivity. Some employers consider that the introduction of new wearable technology will enable employees to work hands-free whilst still receiving information relating to the work that they carry out.

However, there are certain concerns associated with the use of this technology by employees during work hours in relation to privacy, data protection and intellectual property.  The use of wearable technology may make the protection of intellectual property challenging, as employees could potentially access protected information and record it with a view to distributing that information. Potential issues could also arise if an employee uses wearable technology to record a disciplinary meeting without the employer’s consent and seeks to rely on the recording at a later date during litigation.

Many concerns arise through wearable technology, for example, who is the owner of the wearable technology?  When can it be used and for what purpose?  Employers could minimise the risks resulting from the use of wearable technology in the workplace by adopting clear policies to address its use. 

If you need further advice on this new and evolving area and you are an ARC Silver or Gold member, please call the ARC helpline.

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