University of Bremen: Smartwatches and data glasses can be better used at work

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In a joint project, the University of Bremen has developed a privacy management system for personalized assistance systems such as smartwatches and data glasses. The results will be presented on August 31 in Bremen in the House of Citizens.
Digital assistance systems, so-called wearables, which are worn on the body while working, assist companies with assembly or repairs and collect a lot of sensitive, personal data. There are many possible applications for this data, for example for process optimization or error prevention. So far, this potential has not been fully exploited.

The “PersonA” privacy management system is intended to create the basis for data protection-compliant, personalized assistance systems in production and service. It enables users to choose for themselves whether and which data may be collected and processed. Digital assistance systems can increase the general effectiveness of manufacturing and service processes. In order for them to be used successfully in everyday work, however, it is important that they are accepted and used by employees. At the same time, the solution must be legally compliant.

Project funding of 1.5 million euros
In the joint project “PersonA – Development of a privacy management system for personalized assistance systems in production and service”, two institutes from departments 6 and 7 worked together with the Ruhr University Bochum. Practice partners are also nextpractice gGmbH, TeamViewer Germany GmbH GmbH, WS System GmbH and Kemper GmbH. The project started in September 2019. It was funded with 1.5 million euros by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the European Social Fund.

Professor Benedikt Buchner and the research assistant Maximilian Schnebbe of the Institute for Information, Health and Medical Law (IGMR) worked on the legal conformity of the created solutions. Their goal was to focus on employee development and reduce fears of surveillance in the workplace. This requires transparent and understandable information for every employee. “Only if the use of the assistance systems in compliance with data protection regulations is guaranteed can employees be expected to consent to data collection,” emphasizes Buchner. It must also be ensured

Presentation of results on August 31st
Professor Maik Eisenbeiß and the research assistants Olga Bosak and Felix Mohsenzadeh of the markstones Institute of Marketing, Branding & Technology have translated the legal requirements in a user-oriented manner and converted them into design principles for personalized assistance systems. “The design principles ensure that personalized assistance systems not only guarantee legal conformity, but are actually valued by users,” explains Eisenbeiß. The design principles were tested with the help of pilot projects at the application partners WS System GmbH and Kemper GmbH as well as experiments with test persons in the BreLab in order to improve the “PersonA” system in terms of acceptance, user-friendliness and functionality.

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