While Smart wearable devices have increasingly become popular among business executives and consumers alike, privacy remains a significant area of concern.
A new report reveals that more than half of employees who said they are not comfortable with a workplace wearable (56%) said the reason is a desire to keep information private, and 44% said personal data may not be handled responsibly by their employer.
Canadian tech firm Nymi that produces wearable biometric identity device detailed in a seven-page research report titled: ‘Leveraging Wearable Technology to Plan Safe Returns to the Workplace’ that as wearables are rapidly invading the workplace in much the same way that smartphones did, it’s important that the enterprise starts to treat it more seriously.
As businesses across the globe began rapidly shifting their operations to allow staff to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, boosting smart wearables such as remote work gear and ear-worn devices such as headsets, the report observed lack of encryption on many wearable devices, especially in the case of data on transit. Some third-party apps neglect basic security standards and send or store information that’s not encrypted, causing grave security issues.
There’s often no PIN/password protection or biometric security and no user authentication needed to access data on a wearable. If it falls into the wrong hands, there’s a high risk of losing sensitive data.
Also, many of the security issues around wearables need to be addressed by the manufacturers, especially those related to regulations and compliance. Ignorance of wearable device security and manufacturer or third-party app policy can ruin the possibilities of using wearables at work.
The MDM (mobile device management) systems developed to deal with the BYOD trend may not cater to this influx of wearables. Hence organizations must ensure that renewed BYOD policies are in place to give exact parameters for how these devices should be used. It should also clarify best practices for downloading and browsing habits. The approach also creates an agreement between the employee and the company for what can be done with that device-related to business.
According to Nymi CEO Chris Sullivan, “Companies have a responsibility to make technology decisions that will give workers full data privacy. In the case of deploying technology such as a workplace wearable, that means providing the option for employees to opt-in for the collection of this data, erase their data at any time, and more.”
However, there’s no stopping the wearables growth. Smart wearable technology industry is expected to surge to $81.5 billion in 2021 due to the aftermath of coronavirus pandemic. Gartner said renewed interest in the market has become a catalyst for growth, increasing worldwide spending by 18.1%, in comparison to an estimated overall spend of $69 billion in 2020. Hence,