Skip to content
A Collaborative Approach to Neurotech Regulation

A Collaborative Approach to Neurotech Regulation

Marking a first in the United States, Governor Jared Polis of Colorado has recently signed a bill into law that protects neural rights as part of the state’s privacy act. Similar legislative efforts are underway in California and Minnesota, as well as internationally in Latin America, Europe, and beyond. UNESCO has also created an expert group to help develop the first global recommendations on the ethics of neurotechnology. In each case, these novel proposals have emerged as a result of deliberative and constructive dialogue across government, civil society and industry stakeholders on the significant opportunities and risks presented by the rapid advancements in consumer neurotechnology.

EMOTIV applauds the state of Colorado for its leadership in expanding the state’s privacy act to encompass neural data collected to determine a person’s identity. We share in the belief that neural data is highly personal and private, and that there need to be clear “rules of the road” to achieve the dual goals of protecting the people who use consumer neurotechnologies from data misuse, while not stifling innovation as the technology emerges from its infancy. 

EMOTIV stands in favor of smart, flexible regulation that keeps pace with the latest developments in neurotechnology, brain-computer interface (BCI), and artificial intelligence. We look forward to continued collaboration with government and civil society partners on the co-creation of best practices, robust safeguards and models for collaboration regarding privacy, data protection and human rights. 

In light of the positive regulatory momentum in our industry and to further this constructive dialogue, we wanted to take this opportunity to reiterate our company mission and principles, our current approach on the protection and empowerment of our community of users, and our plans for the future.  

First Principles

EMOTIV’s mission is to revolutionize the understanding of the human brain by democratizing brain measurement and understanding through the development of cutting-edge, accessible neurotechnology. We are committed to empowering individuals, researchers, and organizations worldwide to harness the power of the human brain, enabling novel applications and fostering collaboration within the EMOTIV ecosystem. By leveraging AI-driven products and research, EMOTIV aims to enrich the human experience and promote total mind-body well-being. The company is dedicated to advancing neurotechnology, while strongly focusing on neuro rights and neuroethics, fostering a community-driven approach to ethical stewardship and engagement.

EMOTIV is committed to protecting user privacy while delivering meaningful, verifiable personal insights to each user now and in the future. With data only shared by fully informed, consenting users, we are committed to the scientific advancement of our understanding of the human brain in everyday contexts.

We believe that security, privacy, transparency, informed consent and informed risk, and maintaining scientific credibility are the cornerstones of an ethical framework for any new technology. Our technology and products provide an ongoing service to our community of users: with their explicit consent, we gather, store and analyze raw EEG and other data on their behalf. The service provides details of the wearer's cognitive states and mental performance, both in real time and stored for later analysis and review. 

The ability to store raw and processed data collected over long periods of time is an integral part of the value we provide to our community, whether it be for early detection and diagnosis of neurological disorders, tracking disease progression, supporting healthcare providers to offer personalized care, aiding research and development activities, and/or improving the performance of EMOTIV software and machine learning models. Just as individuals find value in wearing Apple Watches to track their heart rate, sleep patterns and step count over long time periods to achieve fitness goals and to monitor their overall health, EMOTIV headsets and data services provide similar value to everyday people who want to track the performance and overall wellness of their brains on an ongoing basis.

We are mindful that with rapid advances in artificial intelligence, novel analytical methods may be developed in the future that could enhance the range and level of information that could be derived from analyzing these data. For these reasons, it is essential that we comply with leading privacy and data protection regulations, help to develop and “future-proof” industry standards, and embed ethical practices in everything we do. 

Current Approach on Community Protection & Empowerment

To achieve its mission, EMOTIV has to continuously earn our community’s trust. As such, we don’t see privacy and data protection as mere compliance matters, but as cornerstones of our company’s long-term strategy. 

EMOTIV strives to be industry-leading on privacy, regulatory compliance & policy engagement, underpinned by a three-pronged approach: 

  1. Adhere to the most stringent global standards and regulatory frameworks: To make neurotechnology available to everyone in all parts of the world, we are committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate, while modeling our data practices on the most stringent, consumer-protective regulatory frameworks, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). For this reason, since the inception of the company, we have invested in mechanisms to de-identify all EEG data, to secure your information with administrative, technical, and physical safeguards, including industry-standard encryption, and to fully disclose all data categories we do collect as well as the legal basis for doing so. Additionally, all EMOTIV employees receive ongoing training on secure and respectful handling of personal data as per GDPR and CCPA requirements, and on company policies and procedures to ensure we respond appropriately to all privacy-related interactions with our users where they may wish to exercise their rights to inspect, correct or delete their data and other private information. Please see our privacy policy for a more comprehensive breakdown.

  2. Educate and empower our community: We strive to strike the balance between comprehensiveness in our policy and legal disclosures and comprehensibility for everyday users, who may not have the time to parse through detailed privacy policies and terms of use. To this end, we have created guides and glossaries for neuroscience and EEG, which encompass more approachable discussions on privacy, regulatory compliance, and technology trends. We also regularly publish company news and user stories for our community to increase awareness of what we’re up to and to encourage more interaction and feedback. To support our diverse communities and to further amplify the technology’s positive impact in the world, EMOTIV frequently donates our technology for worthy causes, partners with philanthropic organizations for life-saving research, sponsors and presents at events that promote education and innovation, and provides discounts to students and select human-centric organizations.

  3. Engage constructively with civil society and government: In addition to ensuring compliance with current regulations that impact our sector, we are also committed to engaging proactively with government and civil society leaders who are devising the regulatory frameworks of the future, acknowledging the rapid progress in neurotechnology, AI and machine learning. To this end, our CEO Tan Le has served as an advisor to the World Economic Forum on the Global Future Council on Neurotechnology, as a member of the Forbes Technology Council and as a frequent public speaker on the ethical development of technology. We are also enlisting the support of policy and legal advisors with prior experience at leading technology companies. We are confident that a transparent and collaborative approach between all parties will yield the most effective regulatory structure to protect the people who use these frontier technologies  while promoting continued innovation.

Looking ahead  

Just as we are constantly iterating on our product roadmap to increase the value we provide to our community, we are also continually revisiting our approach to the protection and empowerment of our users. To further our goals around the ethical stewardship of consumer neurotechnology, we are contemplating the initiatives below. 

  • Explore more user-friendly consent processes, and more readable and accessible overviews to complement our Privacy Policies, Terms of Use and EULA documents.
  • Develop interactive educational tools and resources to help users better understand neurotechnology and its implications.
  • Foster an open dialogue with the community to discuss concerns and gather suggestions.
  • Implement a transparent and participatory process for updating our ethical guidelines, inviting input from diverse stakeholders including ethicists, legal experts, and user representatives.
  • Collaborate with other industry leaders to establish and promote industry-wide standards for ethical neurotech practices.
  • Invest in research on the societal impacts of neurotechnology, focusing on long-term consequences and ethical considerations.
  • Create a dedicated task force to address emerging ethical issues and develop proactive strategies to mitigate potential risks.
  • Enhance user agency by providing customizable privacy settings and detailed insights into how their data is being used in real-time.

From Chile to Colorado, the recent wave of regulatory developments on consumer neurotechnology represents an exciting inflection point for our industry. Governments focus their limited time and attention on the most consequential technologies that present novel opportunities and risks to their constituencies, and consumer neurotechnology has now reached the level of maturity to merit a more meaningful discussion on regulatory models. With clearer standards on user rights, privacy, data management, and information security at the technology’s developmental stage, our industry can embed these best practices into their core product design and avoid many of the pitfalls we’ve seen in other areas of consumer technology.

While we applaud the State of Colorado and other governments for their leadership and forward thinking on neurotechnology, we also understand that this represents only the start of the conversation.  At EMOTIV, we are excited to partner constructively in this important dialogue to ensure the ethical development and expansion of value for our growing community for many years to come. 

Cart 0

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping