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Wearable Technology – Giving Up Your Privacy For Safety?

Technology’s influence on our lives seems to increase more each year.  One recent development is the idea of wearable technology that could help prevent accidents.  Fewer accidents and fewer serious injuries or deaths is a great thing.  But are there privacy concerns with such a technology?

Earlier in 2016, AIG invested in a company that seeks to produce wearable technology.  The company producing the technology is called Human Condition Safety (HCS).  The technology would be worn on or under clothing.  It could hopefully track the movements of the user and provide some warning of incidents where injury or death might occur.

Many of us already use some form of wearable technology.  I wear a Jawbone UP which tracks my heart rate, sleep, and the number of steps I take per day.  Many of us use some version of these fitness trackers.  There are watches which have even more features than the fitness trackers.  Google developed the Google Glass which is a computer that can be worn on your glasses.

Why do wearable devices cause privacy concerns?

I am by no means a technology expert. But I do realize that every measurement taken by these devices that is available to our employers means that we have a little less privacy. A device might measure your heart rate and blood pressure on the job to make sure that you are not at risk for a stroke or heart attack.

In tracking how you do things, your employer can certainly make judgments about how good of an employee you are. Do you lift correctly? Do you work efficiently compared to other employees?

UPS already employs a form of “wearable technology” in its trucks. They have been monitoring how their drivers drive with computers for over two years. Computers on board UPS trucks tell UPS how fast the drivers drive and how many times they back up, among other things.

Companies want to operate efficiently because they saved money.  But the most “efficient” operation of a company may mean that the people working for them become more like machines.  Is that what we ultimately want to be? Is our employment simply about how much we can produce and how quickly? As companies have the ability to measure more and more of what employees do, we have less and less privacy.

How can we address privacy concerns?

We can address these privacy concerns. We can address them through legislation and regulation. On a national or state level, we can pass laws that limit what companies can and cannot do. We already have laws limiting what questions companies can ask during job interviews. We have laws that prevent a company from using certain factors (race, sex, religion, etc.) in making employment decisions.

People can also address their privacy concerns through collective bargaining. Unions negotiate contracts with companies that set rules on what the company can and cannot do. In the UPS example mentioned earlier, the type of data that can be collected and for what it can be used is already an item of negotiation between UPS and the union that represents the UPS drivers.

Technological improvements show no sign of slowing down. Companies will continue to use technology to improve their efficiency and their bottom lines. Because of that, we are all going to have to make decisions about what information is open to our employers and what information should be kept private.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.

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Jason Perkins

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