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Abstract

Employers are collecting and using their employees' health data, mined from wearable fitness devices and health apps, in new, profitable, and barely regulated ways. The importance of protecting employee health and fitness data will grow exponentially in the future. This is the moment for a robust discussion of how law can better protect employees from the potential misuse of their health data. While scholars have just begun to examine the problem of health data privacy, this Article contributes to the academic literature in three important ways. First, it analyzes the convergence of three trends resulting in an unprecedented growth of health-related data: the Internet of Things, the Quantified Self movement, and the Rise of Health Platforms. Second, it describes the insufficiencies of specific data privacy laws and federal agency actions in the context of protecting employee health data from employer misuse. Finally, it provides two detailed and workable solutions for remedying the current lack of protection of employee health data that will realign employer use with reasonable expectations of health and fitness privacy.

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