Construction Today - July 2016 - 144

Residential

By Jeremy P. Brummond
and Patrick J. Thornton

The Legal Side

of Jobsite Technology

T

echnology is integrated into just
about everything in our lives.
Wearable products in particular
are designed to make us more efficient, productive, connected and healthy.
Consumers may think of wearable technology as purely personal, but wearable
technology is increasingly becoming part
of the workplace.
A construction jobsite is a perfect place
to witness the integration of the workplace
and wearable technology. For example,
California-based DAQRI has developed a
"smart hardhat" that features a visor that
presents visual overlays of information, such
as instructions and warnings. The helmet also
features cameras and sensors that can measure, record and track information about the
wearer's surroundings. Similarly, GPS-enabled

144

CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM JULY 2016

safety vests track workers throughout a geo-fenced jobsite to ensure
avoidance of danger zones.
Over time, the marketplace will test and evaluate wearable devices
for their function, utility and value, and some products will become
staples of the workplace. As employers weigh the cost-benefit of these
products, they also need to consider a host of legal issues.

Privacy Concerns
Wearable technology is changing our privacy laws. These products
can easily track our location and record our communications -
whether work-related or personal, important or mundane, verbal
or nonverbal. An employer's ability to monitor employees' behavior
presents data privacy issues.
The right to privacy is not absolute in the workplace. The expectation of privacy has gone down over time. In 1986, Congress passed
the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the Stored
Communications Act (SCA). These laws generally prohibit the intentional interception, access and disclosure of wire, oral or electronic communications and data, but they contain employer-centric exceptions.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - July 2016

Contents
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