Legal Ramifications Of Body Scanning On Fitness Companies And Athletes

Dear all,

I have posted an article on SportTechie yesterday, on the US/EU perspectives on Legal and Privacy.

Here’s the link:

And a copy of the last paragraph:

_"These are global challenges, for all companies that are planning to launch or scale-up sport and health _
_technologies. This has recently been flagged by the ‘Office of the National Health Coordinator for Health Information Technology’ (ONC), regarding US regulation like HIPAA and FDA. Addressing these challenges will help to make better products, that can help athletes and teams to improve technique and performance, but _
without running unnecessary personal risks."

Best, Marcel.

Super interesting that use of a body scanner in retail triggers “informed consent” requirement in the EU. (Did I understand this right?) Marcel, do you know any academic experts who are working specifically on consent issues relating to wearables? Is there any hint of best practice yet?

Gary, thanks! Indeed, such a device and such targeted usage implies 'informed consent, to make sure the individual can analyse costs, benefits, risks and rewards, for short term and long term, before deciding to either agree or decline. A similar call was recently made in a case where a employer gave a group of employees Fitbit devices to wear during workhours. This project had to be abandoned, because it was impossible for employees to participate without the risk of having the health/fitness data/measurements/profiling influence career potential and job security (short and long term). The ‘free will’ or ‘informed consent’ couldn’t be properly captured in the user agreements, as with so many other agreements nowadays. I know several legal experts in the US and EU, both academic and business. I would say that the list of best practices is building and I also see some legal firms that are helping build awareness and communities, based on open source principles. Some legal firms are stating that investing in privacy and regulatory expertise has a direct impact on margin and company valuation. I think they are right, even though that this is obviously helping the growth of their own margin and company valuation at the same time. Obviously, I’m hoping to play my part in all this. Is there anything in particular you would to know or do in this context, on the sort term?

Hi Marcel - let’s talk this through in public, maybe others will join in! The conversation about consent issues is going strong in the US also. (Or perhaps I should say “growing stronger” since the baseline was pretty low.)

Camille Nebeker has been an important participant in the Quantified Self Public Health meetings, contributing quite a lot on these issues. But the focus, at least as I’ve noticed it, has mainly been on the consent requirements for academic/public health research studies, not on consumer uses.

This would be a good topic theme for a breakout session at QS17, I think.

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A lot depends on the detail and purpose. Scanners for clothes tags have no problem in stores and there is no informed consent either in the EU or US. Same for cameras. The argument that can be made that these are mostly passive devices, but with passive microwave, I can see a lot that would be considered intrusive. There is no logically consistent overall structure.

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Marc, indeed, thanks!

Gary, thanks. I will try to engage others, inside and outside the QS community, ok? Is your email address on Linkedin still valid? I have recently introduced you to Kristy Gale, using this email address.

What’s the planning for QSEU? Shall we try to work on a approach / shortlist of topics and speakers in the next few weeks?

PS: I have just sent Camille Nebeker an email today, I will keep ypu posted.

Best, Marcel.