Brooklyn Law Review


From governments to businesses and entertainment-like professional sports, society is slow to adjust to rapid technological change. State and federal governments are similarly tepid to regulate emerging technologies, and many industries fail to promptly alter their strategies to account for such changes. This note focuses on how the major sports leagues have yet to adequately address biometric data derived from wearable technology in their respective collective bargaining agreements. This lack of clarity presents a multitude of issues spanning from data ownership, privacy and publicity rights to labor and employment protections. Consequently, professional athletes have, at best, limited rights to their biometric data gathered by leagues and teams. This note also considers how the increase in commercialization opportunities associated with biometric data makes the lack of explicit player ownership rights even more problematic. Lastly, this note advocates for Players Associations and leagues to negotiate “players’ bill of rights” and license ownership structures to ensure that athlete biometric data is protected.