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Wearables in 79 per cent of European workplaces

Some 79 per cent of European organisations have staff members using some form of wearable technology, a recent study has shown.

The research was commissioned by security supplier Trend Micro and conducted by Vanson Bourne and in it, it also says that 77 per cent of organisations are actively encouraging their employees to use wearables.

The poll surveyed 800 decision-makers in Europe and the Middle East, to examine the impact of the wearable technology.

The employees were encouraged to use the wearable tech mostly because it boosted their productivity.

The UK is a different story, though. Some 39 per cent of businesses discouraged staff from bringing wearables into the workplace, even though a clear majority of staff were doing so.

Trend Micro CTO Raimund Genes said businesses needed to show greater diligence around their use and policing of wearable tech, Computerweekly reports.

“When it comes to wearable devices, these are not only close to you in a physical sense but also collect all kinds of personal information which can be misused, not only by cyber criminals but also by companies looking to harvest and re-sell this data. I strongly recommend that companies conduct a thorough risk assessment of these devices before allowing them to be used in business environments,” he said.

Vinod Bange, partner and data protection specialist at law firm Taylor Wessing, said it would be better to understand and avoid risks at the early stages of privacy-intrusive technology projects than have to bolt on expensive systems after the event.

“Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) may yet become a legal obligation in the near future if the proposals in Article 33 of the draft EC Data Protection Regulation are adopted, however completing a PIA should be seen as more than just a legal box-ticking exercise,” he said.