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Creepy Technologies Invade European Post-Pandemic Workplaces

May 19, 2020, Bloomberg

Daniel Cooper spoke with Bloomberg about new wearable technology devices that alert users when they are within close proximity of someone with COVID-19. Mr. Cooper notes that businesses are walking a fine line between keeping people safe and protecting their privacy. The absence of clear guidance from European regulators is forcing companies -- who could also be on the hook if they don’t sufficiently protect workers -- to make “extremely difficult decisions.”

He says, “The exposure of companies collecting that information goes up because it’s sensitive.  They also have to balance the privacy rights of the people whose data they’re collecting and get that balance right and not break the law.”

In Europe, where breaching data protection laws can result in a fine of as much as 4% of annual global revenue, companies typically wouldn’t link temperature readings to names or store the information. Still, fever readings wouldn’t be difficult to trace back to an individual, he adds.

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