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HR trend watch: Wearable tech and risk

November 24, 2014

To those of us who prowl the tech pages every day, it’s no surprise that the future of wearables brings corporate risk in new forms. It’s been a long time coming and now it’s here: wearable tech and litigation. Trends always balance upon the intended and unintended uses of every technology and scientific development. Simply because one cannot imagine it, does not mean it cannot happen. [Ominous, but true.]

With regard to wearable tech in the workplace, consider the implications of the following:

Comcast to let customers track and rate technicians with new app

Fitbit Data Now Being Used In The Courtroom

Wearable Technology A Perfect Fit for Litigation

Woman gets microchip implant so she can leave office keys at home

New dimensions are emerging with regard to issues of privacy, employee monitoring, performance management and even separation from one’s company. Piling on the heap of BYOD (bring your own device) concerns, wearables represent a risk which HR and corporate legal teams should assess and anticipate. Organizational leadership should begin discussions about communication with employees and potential policy development now. The potential issues are sprawling and, in the worst case, organizations might be faced with some nasty little surprises if they are not proactive.

How about performance monitoring and malpractice:

Google Glass Enters the Operating Room

Think about requiring wearables in the workplace – how might that work out:

Google Glass Required? Wearable Tech Hits the Office

What about health insurance matters:

Wearable Tech Is Plugging Into Health Insurance

Finally, consider occupational safety:

Wearable Technology at Work, for Health and Safety

I could go on to list potential effects of living in an Orwellian society, constantly monitored by Big Brother at home and work, but I won’t.

Here’s the message: even if you are unlikely to purchase/use wearable tech, you may find yourself affected by it in one way or another. Remember: simply because one cannot imagine it, does not mean it cannot happen.

Advice to HR: Keep your legal team on speed dial, if they aren’t already!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 7, 2014 2:47 am

    Reblogged this on kourtneyblack and commented:
    Something I’ve been highly interested in recently. Wearable technology. I own a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, so wearable technology has been making me curious lately. This is definitely a blog to check out!

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