The Angel on Your Shoulder: Prompting Employees to Do the Right Thing Through the Use of Wearables

Northwestern University Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property, Forthcoming

Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 15-67

40 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2015 Last revised: 7 Oct 2015

See all articles by Timothy Fort

Timothy Fort

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law

Anjanette Raymond

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law; Queen Mary University of London, School of Law; Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Scott Shackelford

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law; Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs; Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research; Stanford Center for Internet and Society; Stanford Law School

Date Written: September 15, 2015

Abstract

The wearable revolution is upon us. Bulky chest straps and large wristbands are going the way of flip cellphones and floppy disks. In the near future, for example, it may be commonplace for athletes to wear Biostamps or smart T-shirts with embedded sensors during practices, games, and even sleep. And while athletic competitors may have been one of the first movers in the area, health care, the military, and the industrial sector have all begun to use wearables to harness vast treasure troves of information destined to provide highly individualized feedback. The possibilities are almost endless when such personal information is combined with big data analytics in the name of improving large-scale efficiency.

Interestingly, employers were one of the first movers in the wearable revolution. Yet, other than basic tracking of people and goods, there is still a tremendous potential for expansion. What if wearables could be harnessed to assist employees in avoiding conflict of interests? What if wearables could assist employees in identifying ethical dilemmas and could then prompt them to consider alternative courses of action? What if the wearable evolution became an ethical revolution?

But the drawbacks of using wearables in such a manner must also be critically analyzed. This Article takes this step by exploring the use of wearables as personal information gathering devices that feed into larger data sets. It then considers some of the legal and policy implications of the use and aggregation of data in such a manner and ultimately makes suggestions for bottom-up baseline regulation. Ultimately, we argue for the desirability of leveraging this emerging technology, subject to privacy and security safeguards, to help drive an ethical revolution in business cultures.

Suggested Citation

Fort, Timothy and Raymond, Anjanette and Shackelford, Scott J., The Angel on Your Shoulder: Prompting Employees to Do the Right Thing Through the Use of Wearables (September 15, 2015). Northwestern University Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property, Forthcoming; Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 15-67. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2661069 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2661069

Timothy Fort

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Anjanette Raymond (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Scott J. Shackelford

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs ( email )

79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research ( email )

Wylie Hall 105
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Stanford Center for Internet and Society ( email )

Palo Alto, CA
United States

Stanford Law School ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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