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Published on January 16th, 2017 | by Daniel Castro and Nick Wallace


Comments to the European Commission on Smart Wearables

The Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content, and Technology in the European Commission drafted a reflection paper on smart wearables, which it released for public comment in November 2016. The Center for Data Innovation welcomes the paper and agrees with the majority of its conclusions, which show pragmatic thinking at DG Connect about how Europe can become more competitive in the data economy. The paper correctly identifies the reasons why wearables present a unique opportunity for Europe, and correctly highlights issues that need to be dealt with appropriately, such as standards and liability.

However, the Center is also concerned by other trends in European policy that may get in the way of the ambitions described in the paper, some misconceptions in the paper itself, as well as matters it does not discuss in sufficient detail. These include excessive data protection regulations, simplistic approaches to European competitiveness and standards, misconceptions about the privacy implications of wearable devices, and insufficient consideration of market-based solutions to improve cybersecurity.

Read the comments.

Image credit: Wikipedia.

About the Author

Daniel Castro is the director of the Center for Data Innovation and vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Mr. Castro writes and speaks on a variety of issues related to information technology and internet policy, including data, privacy, security, intellectual property, internet governance, e-government, and accessibility for people with disabilities. His work has been quoted and cited in numerous media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, USA Today, Bloomberg News, and Businessweek. In 2013, Mr. Castro was named to FedScoop’s list of “Top 25 most influential people under 40 in government and tech.” In 2015, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed Mr. Castro to the Commerce Data Advisory Council.Mr. Castro previously worked as an IT analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) where he audited IT security and management controls at various government agencies. He contributed to GAO reports on the state of information security at a variety of federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In addition, Mr. Castro was a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he developed virtual training simulations to provide clients with hands-on training of the latest information security tools. He has a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an M.S. in Information Security Technology and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

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