Seminar Five Materials

Presentations and media from the Fifth seminar, “The Benefits and Disbenefits of monitoring digital data for health purposes



Dr Mark Taylor


‘Introduction to seminar and framing the use of big data for wellbeing from ethical and legal perspective’


Dr Mark Taylor’s Presentation


mark taylor

Interview with Dr Mark Taylor

Prof David Townend


‘How far can Law on its own create an environment of trust and confidence especially for people who feel vulnerable?’


Dr David Townend ‘s presentation



David TownendProf Townend is to consider the following questions:

1. What is the nature of the problem? What does a vulnerable employee need to feel confident enough to ask for help? (Especially where the difficulties might be employment related, either by an unreasonable employer, or through a weakness in the employee.)
2. Legal Protections outside employment Law?
2.1 Does data protection Law (especially the GDPR) give sufficient protection about personal data?
2.2 Can fiduciary duties help us?
3.1 What are the legitimate expectations of employees (with different sorts of difficulties)?
3.2 What might legitimate claims on the information in the personal data be for the employer?
3.3 What are the responsibilities of the shareholders?
4. What sort of safeguards might work?

Interview with Professor David Townend

Dr Mark Butler


‘Implied Trust and Confidence’


Dr Mark Butler’s presentation


Mark ButlerDr Butler is to consider the implications of implied term of trust and confidence, health and safety issues (including work-related stress issues under Walker and Hatton) and matters relating to the Equality Act.

Interview with Dr Mark Butler

Dr Tom Calvard


‘The Quantified Self’


Dr Tom Calvard’s presentation


Tom CalvardDr Calvard will discuss the ethical issues around greater digital monitoring of employee health by reviewing theory and research on the concept of ‘the quantified self’. On the one hand, if employees are allowed to own, measure, understand and participate in gathering and analyzing digital information about themselves, quantifying the self should be empowering and beneficial to their health. On the other hand, there are likely to always be wider structural concerns about how this data is used and related back to power imbalances in the context of employment relationships, in terms of how the data is shared, interpreted, contextualized and acted upon beyond the individual. This presentation argues that one way forward in managing these tensions is to theorize the quantified self as representing a process of embodied sensemaking, emphasizing the importance of interpreting health data flexibly and reflexively in ways that are socially and politically acceptable to a range of stakeholders. In doing so, the presentation draws further on the work of various digital sociologists and historians of data and science to critically understand the emergence of a ‘statistical-digital employee self’ made up of highly personalized physical and mental health information.


Interview with Dr Tom Calvard

Prof Graeme Laurie


‘Principles of Good Data Governance’


Prof Graeme Laurie’s presentation


Graeme Laurie.Professor Laurie will reflect on the transferability and applicability to routinely collected employee data of principles of good data governance developed for the health sector through extensive multi-disciplinary collaboration.


Interview with Professor Graeme Laurie