ICO reminds organisations to comply with wearable tech privacy law

Wearable device

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has reminded businesses to be wary of what they do with people's personal information collected using wearable devices.

In a company blog post, the ICO's senior technology officer Android Paterson warned that while organisations have greater protection over individuals when handling data collected by wearables, it still has to be shared in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

He wrote: "If you are using a wearable technology for your own use then you are unlikely to be breaching the Act. This is because the Act includes an exemption for the collection of personal information for domestic purposes.

"But if you were to one day decide that you'd like to start using this information for other purposes outside of your personal use, for example to support a local campaign or to start a business, then this exemption would no longer apply."

Best practice

Paterson noted that anybody using wearables able to capture video or pictures should abide by the CCTV Code of Practice, which is currently under review by the ICO, while taking note of guidance on the Surveillance Camera Commissioner's website.

The guidance follows the recent launch of Google Glass in the UK, which is set to raise a number of implications around the collection and processing of data by wearable devices.

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.