Ethical Implications of User Perceptions of Wearable Devices

Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (1):1-28 (2018)

Health Wearable Devices enhance the quality of life, promote positive lifestyle changes and save time and money in medical appointments. However, Wearable Devices store large amounts of personal information that is accessed by third parties without user consent. This creates ethical issues regarding privacy, security and informed consent. This paper aims to demonstrate users’ ethical perceptions of the use of Wearable Devices in the health sector. The impact of ethics is determined by an online survey which was conducted from patients and users with random female and male division. Results from this survey demonstrate that Wearable Device users are highly concerned regarding privacy issues and consider informed consent as “very important” when sharing information with third parties. However, users do not appear to relate privacy issues with informed consent. Additionally, users expressed the need for having shorter privacy policies that are easier to read, a more understandable informed consent form that involves regulatory authorities and there should be legal consequences the violation or misuse of health information provided to Wearable Devices. The survey results present an ethical framework that will enhance the ethical development of Wearable Technology.
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-017-9872-8
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