Consumer-generated data represents an important and growing subsection of personal health data, as consumers adopt wearables and health-tracking devices in record numbers. Devices that help users track physiological information hold the potential to greatly improve consumers’ lives, and research based on data collected by wearables could reveal insights with broad societal benefits. While sensitive health and wellness data is critical to giving consumers the experiences they want and need, it will be essential that privacy concerns raised by the collection and use of this data are addressed.
FPF is committed to supporting responsible privacy and security practices for wearables, mobile apps, services, and devices that utilize consumers’ health, wellness, and physiological data. As the leading advocate for business practical approaches to consumer privacy, FPF has been at the vanguard of privacy issues around the growing Internet of Things, including the smart grid, smart home devices, mobile location tracking, and connected cars.
Highlights of our efforts around consumer wellness data and wearables include:
- Public filings cited by the Federal Trade Commission on the benefits of the Internet of Things;
- A Practical Privacy Paradigm for Wearables whitepaper; and
- An active working group promoting and developing best practices for consumer wearables.
The FPF Consumer Wellness & Wearables Working Group is comprised of industry leaders and stakeholders from across the consumer wellness and wearables ecosystems. Participants include leading mobile operating systems, wearables manufacturers, healthcare organizations, app developers, chipmakers, researchers, and others focused on consumer-generated health and wellness data.
The goal of the working group is to build on best practices that support consumer trust, as well as to develop responsible guidelines for appropriate research and other secondary uses of such data. This will enable companies to address consumer and advocate concerns and demonstrate accountability. Ultimately, by shining a light on responsible privacy practices we hope to ensure continued innovation and consumer trust within the wearables ecosystem.
Some key issues for this group to address include: sharing consumer health-related data with researchers and third parties, including employer wellness programs; advertising and marketing restrictions; appropriate notice and consent mechanisms; access, correct, and deletion for health-related data; and data security standards.
We invite you to join FPF and participate in our Consumer Wellness & Wearables Project.