Association Unveils First-of-Its-Kind, Industry Supported Principles on Wellness Data Privacy

Leading companies have consensus on consumer privacy

ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® announced
groundbreaking news about technology companies’ dedication to consumer
privacy – a first-of-its-kind set of voluntary guidelines for private
sector organizations that handle personal wellness data—the data often
generated by wearable technologies.

In recognition of consumers’ desire for more privacy in an ever more
connected world, CEA’s Guiding Principles on the Privacy and Security
of Personal Wellness Data
represent consensus among the trade
association’s members on how companies should address tangible privacy
risks and consumer preferences.

“We have a message for consumers – wellness technology companies are
making consumer privacy a top priority,” said Gary Shapiro, president
and CEO, CEA. “The industry itself created and approved these Guiding
Principles, recognizing that we need to evolve with common purpose to
build and maintain consumers’ trust. Consensus solutions are the most
efficient and effective way to promote innovation, while recognizing the
needs of consumers. Achieving this degree of agreement among companies
in such a vast, rapidly-evolving tech category is nothing short of
remarkable.”

The Guiding Principles establish a baseline, voluntary framework that
will promote consumer trust in technology companies that handle wellness
data. At the same time, companies practicing the Guiding Principles will
have flexibility on how to implement them according to their own unique
products and offerings. The Guiding Principles recommend, among other
things, that companies:

  • Provide robust security measures;
  • Provide clear, concise and transparent information on the use of data
    collection, storing and sharing, especially when transferring data to
    unaffiliated third parties;
  • Allow consumers the ability to control and review their personal
    wellness data;
  • Offer users the ability to opt out of advertising; and
  • Disclose their protocol for law enforcement requests.

“At Fitbit we empower consumers to lead healthier, more active lives by
giving them access to powerful health and fitness data, along with
inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. We understand the
importance of protecting consumer data in order to maintain consumer
trust,” said Woody Scal, chief revenue officer at Fitbit and chairman of
CEA’s Health and Fitness Division. “CEA’s Guiding Principles on Privacy
and Security articulate best practices that can be adopted by a broad
variety of companies in the health and fitness ecosystem with the goal
of helping grow and maintain consumer trust.”

“Wellness-related wearable devices are among the fastest-growing sectors
of the Internet of Things. More consumers than ever are now harnessing
personal data – calories consumed, daily steps taken and heart rate
measurements,” said Shapiro. “As this technology evolves, consumers will
learn even more about themselves, giving them a greater ability to lead
healthier lives. These benefits rely heavily on wellness data, and the
Guiding Principles demonstrate that wellness technology companies
understand they must be trusted stewards of that consumer data.”

The Guiding Principles explain that, as consumer preferences and comfort
with technology evolve, the tech sector’s products and services will
advance as well. The association encourages companies to maintain an
ongoing dialog with consumers on the potential value of wellness
technologies, the privacy options they offer and potential sensitivities
about the use of related consumer data.

To download the Guiding Principles on the Privacy and Security of
Personal Wellness Data
visit CE.org/healthprivacy.

CEA President and CEO, Gary Shapiro and Woody Scal, chief revenue
officer at Fitbit will hold a press call to discuss the Guiding
Principles on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 at 4:30 PM ET. To join, dial (877)
807-7086, passcode 67788919.

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade
association representing the $285 billion U.S. consumer electronics
industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA
membership, including legislative and regulatory advocacy, market
research, technical training and education, industry promotion,
standards development and the fostering of business and strategic
relationships. CEA also owns and produces CES – The Global Stage for
Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry
services. Find CEA online at CE.org,
InnovationMovement.com
and on social.

Contacts

Consumer Electronics Association
Danielle Cassagnol, 703-907-5253
dcassagnol@CE.org
www.CE.org
or
Izzy
Santa, 703-907-4308

isanta@CE.org