Hide Your Health: Addressing the New Privacy Problem of Consumer Wearables
Citation: 103 Geo L.J. 1641 (2015)
Is your heart rate an intentional communication? The answer may not be clear, but what is certain is that the era of consumer wearable devices is upon us. For the first time in history, consumer devices are capable of monitoring sensitive vital sign information, and companies are readily collecting an inordinate amount of individual data. These devices are known as “wearables” and can monitor an individual’s heart rate, stress level, brain activity, respiration, body temperature, hydration level, and other related information. Wearables are worn on the wrist, head, ankle, or any other body part, and serve to computerize just about every daily function imaginable. Software can then be used to collect and store these personal health data. As the law currently stands, nothing is stopping health-app companies from selling this collected information
to third parties. In the end, individual privacy suffers tremendously when these data are disclosed, and companies are profiting from sensitive health information such as consumers’ heart rates. . . .