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    ESPN: NBA players union wants to ensure privacy in data collection

    ESPN reports that the NBA’s players union is considering players’ privacy rights as teams increasingly track players’ on- and off-court activities:

    As NBA teams use increased technology to track players on and off the court, the players’ union wants to ensure that privacy is still being protected.

    Franchises have been scrutinizing player movement on the court since the 2012-13 season, but data collection has also recently extended beyond the hardwood. Various teams have begun experimenting with sleep trackers, off-court movement monitors and fluid tests — including blood and sweat — in order to improve player health and performance.

    These developments have happened so quickly and quietly, however, that the National Basketball Players Association was not aware of these widespread biometric advances, and had not established a position on the issue, until ESPN The Magazine approached the union for comment in August.

    “If the league and teams want to discuss potentially invasive testing procedures that relate to performance, they’re free to start that dialogue and we’ll be glad to weigh the benefits against the risks,” longtime NBPA counsel Ron Klempner said. “Obviously, we’d have serious privacy and other fairness concerns on behalf of the players. We’ve barely left the starting line on these issues.” […]

    Currently, there is no language in the collective bargaining agreement that restricts teams from collecting fluids or mining off-court data. One union fear is that such classified information could potentially be used against players in contract talks or leaked to unauthorized third parties.

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