eHealth and Privacy in U.S. Employer Wellness Programs
"Under Observation - The Interplay between eHealth and Surveillance”, Ronald Leenes, Nadezhda Purtova, Samantha Adams (eds.), Springer, Forthcoming
25 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2015
This paper summarizes privacy, autonomy and ethical issues raised by employer-sponsored wellness programs in the United States, with emphasis on the increasing use of technology for collecting data and shaping participant behavior. After providing some background on wellness programs, the paper looks at the types of personal information collected in these programs through health risks assessments, biometric screenings and, increasingly, wearable fitness trackers and mobile apps, at ways in which this personal information is combined with public data and healthcare data, and how it is used to monitor and influence program participants. The paper examines legal protections available to employees in areas of informational privacy, physical integrity, and decisional autonomy. It concludes with recommendations for further research.
Keywords: Employee wellness, Wearable devices, Health apps, Fitness trackers, Persuasive technologies, Lifestyle analytics, Privacy, Decisional autonomy
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