Robert Dremluk and David Jacoby, partners in Culhane Meadows’ NewYork office, attended the International Vision Expo East trade fair on Friday, March 20. David was a featured speaker at the Expo’s Continuing Education program on the topic of “Navigating New Technology: Real Life Implementation and Implications.” Bob met with contacts in the vision-care field. This trade show and its West Coast counterpart draw over 30,000 attendees yearly.
David’s hour-long presentation looked at the extraordinary new developments in eyewear and eye care from a practical legal perspective. Speaking just a few feet away from the Vision Monday Eye² Zone curated by lens and technology editor Andy Karp, David gave examples of the remarkably innovative developments that have been created, such as retinal implants to restore partial vision to eye disease patients to wearable gear to track biometric or performance data for athletes and others.
Because many of the devices depend on wireless transmission of data, David examined the recent Federal Trade Commission staff report on the “Internet of Things.” There are 25 billion devicesnow directly connected, without human intermediation, to the Internet. Among the chief issues the report highlighted:
- the importance of building security into devices which, for reasons including their size, the inability to download patches and their manufacture by non-software or hardware firms, are more vulnerable to hacking, with life-imperiling potential in the medical field;
- privacy issues, including how data will be shared and whether it can be anonymized effectively when some data captured, like an individual’s gait, is unique, so much so that the CIA’s chief technology officer has said it can be used “100%” to identify someone; and
- providing adequate notice and choice to consumers.
David also underscored that both the FTC report and the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights discussion draft issued by the White House on February 27 encouraged a role for industry- developed standards. He urged the audience of eye care professionals to “keep an eye” on this issue as a way to craft workable standards for their field.
Other topics he discussed included the FTC Prescription Release Rule, which the FTC just announced it will review this year, ahead of schedule; pitfalls the FTC’s Endorsement and Testimonial Guidance could hold for eye care professionals who discuss new-tech products online; the Vision Council’s “Hindsight is 20/20/20” report on digital eye strain; FDA guidance on wireless device manufacturing; and some lessons that can be drawn from reaction to the consumer version of Google Glass.
The presentation was part of the continuing education retail track at the Expo, which was coordinated by the Accessories Council. The overall education program is supervised by an advisory board of eye care profession educators and David was certified by the American Board of Opticianry to present.