Does your employer issue devices to track activity, well-being, or posture correction? How about other gadgets to decide the discounts on your health insurance, monitor how you work or where you are located, or measure the quality of the air around you? Do you wear Google Glasses while on the job so your manager can monitor the processes you follow? Are these devices making you more productive and protecting your interests, or are they threatening your privacy? What threats do they pose to businesses when misused?
Technology today is not only ubiquitous but also portable. Just as businesses were thinking they handled all possible issues regarding BYOD (‘Bring Your Own Device’) policies, a whole new threat is emerging. Policies now need to be put in place to mitigate possible risk from the presence of wearable technology at the workplace. Undoubtedly, wearables at the workplace are set to have a disruptive effect on the way businesses and workers operate.
Wearables in the workplace have capabilities which transcend those of previously introduced computing devices. Many more known and unknown applications are set to improve these capabilities, enabling them to inadvertently or deliberately interfere with privacy, intellectual property rights and confidentiality by acting as secret surveillance cameras and wiretaps.
Wearable Technology and What they Offer
Let us look at the possibilities offered by wearable technology and how they would affect employers, workers and workplaces:
Employers need to set relevant policies to manage the use of wearables at the workplace. The policies must also explicitly apply to all workers, including contingent labor. Contractual agreements with the staffing agencies that supply workers must require enforcement of these policies. Most corporate policies are reviewed annually. In this case, a quarterly review/revision may be required to keep pace with the rapid introduction of innovative new gadgets.
Do write in and share with us the top 3 concerns you or your company have in terms of misuse of wearable technology. We will compile results and publish it in a future blog. In the meantime, keep an eye out for more blogs on this controversial subject.
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