Making Better Use of Smartwatches and Smartglasses at Work

As part of a joint project, the University of Bremen developed a privacy management system for personalized assistance systems such as smartwatches and smartglasses. The results will be presented at the Bremen Parliament House on August 31.

Wearables are digital assistance systems worn on the body during work. They provide assistance to companies in assembly or repair, and collect a large amount of sensitive, personal data. There are numerous promising applications for this data, including process optimization or error prevention. However, this potential has yet to be fully realized.

The “PersonA” privacy management system is intended to lay the foundations for personalized assistance systems in production and service that comply with data protection regulations. It allows users to choose whether and to what extent they want their data to be collected and further processed. Digital assistance systems can increase the overall efficiency of manufacturing and service processes. Yet to ensure their successful application in day-to-day work, it is important that employees embrace and use these systems. At the same time, the solution must be legally compliant.

Project Funding Stands at 1.5 Million Euros

Two institutes from Faculties 6 and 7 are working with Ruhr-Universität Bochum on the joint project called “PersonA – Development of a privacy management system for personalized assistance systems in production and service.” nextpractice gGmbH, TeamViewer Germany GmbH, WS System GmbH, and Kemper GmbH are partners in the project, which was launched in September 2019. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the European Social Fund provided 1.5 million euros of funding.

Professor Benedikt Buchner and research associate Maximilian Schnebbe from the Institute for Information, Health and Medical Law – IGMR (Institut für Informations-, Gesundheits- und Medizinrecht) worked on the legal conformity of the solutions created. Their aim was to focus on employee development and quell employees’ fears of feeling supervised at work. Therefore, the information given to employees needs to be universally transparent and easy to understand. “Employees can only be expected to consent to data collection if the assistance systems are used in compliance with data protection regulations,” says Buchner. It must also be ensured that agreement to data collection is on a voluntary basis. Likewise, there should be no repercussions for employees refusing to have their data collected in terms of their wages or career prospects.

Results Presentation on August 31

Professor Maik Eisenbeiß together with research associates Olga Bosak and Felix Mohsenzadeh from the markstones Institute of Marketing, Branding & Technology translated the legal requirements with the user in mind, rendering them into design principles for personalized assistance systems. “The design principles ensure that personalized assistance systems not only ensure legal compliance, but are also valued by users,” says Professor Eisenbeiß. The design principles were tested with the help of pilot projects performed at the application partners WS System GmbH and Kemper GmbH, as well as experiments with test subjects at the BreLab. The aim of the testing was to improve the acceptance, user-friendliness and functionality of the “PersonA” system.

The project consortium will present the developed “PersonA” system on August 31 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Bremen Parliament House. Participation is free of charge for all interested parties. To register and view the schedule, please use the following link:

Further Information: (in German)


Professor Maik Eisenbeiß
markstones Institute of Marketing, Branding & Technology
University of Bremen
Tel.: +49 421 218-66740
Email: eisenbeissprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Professor Benedikt Buchner
University of Bremen
Faculty of Law
Tel.: +49 421 218-66040

Logo of University of Bremen
To ensure the successful application in day-to-day work, it is important that employees embrace and use wearables.