Tim Jacquemard - Transfer Talk - 28th January 2013

Video Category: 
Transfer Talk
Tim_Jacquemard

Title: Ethics of Lifelog Technology

Abstract: Due to the multitude of technologies which are either enabled by sensor web technology or part of it, it is infeasible to address ethical concerns related to all specific technologies emanating from the Sensor Web. After all, the Sensor Web aims to gather data about topics varying from marine life to office life, from flora to fauna and from persons to objects. Subsequently the scope of the inquiry has to be limited. This inquiry is restricted to a specific set of technologies able to capture information about the individual, namely lifelog technologies.

A lifelog is a digital archive which potentially contains all possible information about the individual. Having the individual as its locus, it has most impact on one’s personal life and society. For this reason, it seems one of the most ethically challenging areas within the Sensor Web. Although there are already databases with vast amounts of information about individuals, such as social networks as Facebook, media companies as WPP’s Xaxis, and governmental programs as the US’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) ‘Advanced Soldier Sensor Information System and Technology’ (ASSIST), lifelog technology is still at an early stage of development.

For this reason, the research question is as follows: What are the conditions necessary for a morally responsible use and development of lifelogs?

This question has been divided into three parts:

  1. What are the conditions necessary for a morally responsible development during research and development?
  2. What are the conditions necessary for a morally responsible use when lifelogs are used by individuals?
  3. What are the conditions necessary for a morally responsible use when lifelogs are used by institutions?
    1. What are the conditions necessary for a morally responsible use when lifelogs are used by corporations?
    2. What are the conditions necessary for a morally responsible use when lifelogs are used by governmental institutions?

By distinguishing these three different areas, the aim is to cover all relevant aspects of the development and use of lifelog technologies. The identification of ethical concerns is especially relevant since the technology is still yet to be fully developed.