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Why Does ASTM Care About Privacy?

ASTM proposes a new sound-masking standard to ensure privacy for confidential conversations held in offices and other commercial building spaces.

ASTM is proposing a new standard to protect speech privacy and prevent noise distractions, known as WK47433. As a member of ASTM International, I was asked to vote on the proposed standard titled “Performance Specification of Electronic Sound Masking When Used in Building Spaces”, which was developed by Committee 33 on Building and Environmental Acoustics. The standard aims to “help keep sensitive conversations private” by keeping “sound that travels beyond the walls of a particular area, such as medical examination rooms and HR offices from being overheard by unintended listeners.” (See ASTM’s press release here.)