Surveillance and wearable devices

It is obvious to see, with the development of wearable technology, people can use wearable devices to monitor  body. Various wearable products are in market now. The dash earplugs can measure the user’s heart rate, body temperature, walking speed, the number of steps and calorie consumption level. Only by putting the wireless earplug into the ear can it realise the function of data detection.D-Shirtsmart jacket is able to send the users’ activity data to phone via Bluetooth and its weight is similar to ordinary clothes. The intelligent diaper is really practical. Inventors developed intelligent diaper to perfect supervision of baby’s excretion.Intelligent diapers can not only provide the data about the baby’s kidney function, but also make a warning of the infant’s urinary tract infection.

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Photo credit: Google Glass by Lawrence’s (CC BY 2.0)

Following the Google glasses, Google continues to research and develop on the advanced wearable devices. Google is developing a contact lens that can detect the user’s glucose content and help to calculate the blood glucose of diabetic.

Tweets embedded from my Twitter account: @annabelfeng

The most popular wearable device must be iWatch this year. One of the gossips about Apple watch has attracted my attention: At first, Apple watch was equipped with various sensors which can measure diversified human health indicators, such as body’s stress levels, heart rate, blood pressure,blood sugar and amount of oxygen in the blood, but these medical measuring functions were cut down when Apple watch was formally launched this year. Why?

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Photo credit: Apple Watch 3D models by Martin Hajek (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

As far as I am concerned, the answers are about the surveillance:

1. Where is the boundary between wearable health devices and professional medical devices? Currently on the market, the wearable devices mainly focus on human health data collection and analysis, such as heart rate, body temperature, sleep quality and calorie intake and consumption etc. With the development of a variety of intelligent measurement technology, the boundary of wearable health equipment and medical devices which under strict supervision are becoming increasingly blurred. Does it necessary for wearable devices to get through regulatory scrutiny before be sold in market?

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Photo credit: Privacy by Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0)

2. The individual privacy. In fact, the essence of wearable health devices are health data collection and user storage, of course, the collected data may also be uploaded to the cloud server. Like many wearable devices, the use of police body-worn cameras raises heated discussion about privacy for it can record everything they meet whenever police choose to go (Randy and Bryce 2016), it can be used in private homes as well. At present, none of the countries have law that requests special approval before commercial enterprises collect and store personal health information through wearable devices. However, the protection of privacy is highly appreciated by the society in the Internet age, companies should be careful in dealing with personal information. Regarding the privacy controversy about body-worn cameras, Elizabeth (2016) believes that the clear data control policies will be helpful.

 

Reference list:

Elizabeth, E.J 2016, ‘Beyond surveillance: data control and body cameras’, Surveillance & Society, vol.14, no.1, pp. 133-137.

Randy, K.L & Bryce, C.N 2016, ‘Debate introduction: the privacy and surveillance implications of police body cameras’, Surveillance & Society, vol.14, no.1, pp. 113-116.

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4 thoughts on “Surveillance and wearable devices”

  1. Hey Annabel, your post is great! Really interesting read and the podcast works well to supplement the content and research discussed within the blog. Your use of CC images was great, they suited the blog really well and were positioned great. You raised some really interesting points about wearable devices and surveillance, and it really got me questioning the use of these devices, especially where my privacy is concerned. My only suggestion would be to add a few embedded tweets into the blog, will allow for you to have extra content, and maybe interact some more media into the post. Overall, great blog post.. I look forward to future posts.

  2. Good job, Annabel! You develop a logical structure from the beginning generalisation on several wearable devices, to the criticism analysing on their advantages of users health conditions’ tracking along with disadvantages on privacy issues concerning. The images are well working together with the arguments.

    My advice would be concentrating more on how wearable devices work on people rather than description of the functions, adding discussions like whether is it useful? Or supported with official evidences if necessary. The low speed presenting in podcast make it clear to hear and easily understanding the sentences, but more quickly broadcasting with further information could be better. And you should put the hyperlinks on both title of images and its creative commons license for the references.

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