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.
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