Wearable Computing: Challenges and Opportunities for Privacy Protection


Key Questions: What are the privacy risks associated with wearable technology? What design considerations should be taken into account to enhance privacy protection?

The purpose of the research report is to provide you with a better understanding of the privacy implications of wearable computing technologies as a foundation for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's (OPC) advice to Parliament, policy position development and future compliance activities. Rapid technological innovation, consumer demand and dropping costs are fueling the development and adoption of a new generation of wearable devices. These devices, worn on the user’s body and sometimes tethered to the individual’s smart phone, can amplify the tracking and profiling risks that are characteristic of the current mobile ecosystem. The report provides an overview of wearable computing and some of its privacy implications. Following a discussion of the application of federal privacy laws in this environment, the report sets out some wearable computing design considerations to enhance built-in privacy protections and concludes with some potential next steps.


  • Introduction
  • What is wearable computing?
  • Overview of implications for privacy
  • Canada's privacy laws and wearable computing
  • Some design considerations for wearable computing devices
Contact Person/Organization: 

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Type of Tool:

Publication Date: 

Google Glass: Privacy, Journalism, and the Dawn of Wearable Technology