2 Replies to “Expectation for privacy?”

  1. The following is an abstract of a related paper (Some Socio-Technical Aspects Of Intelligent Buildings and Pervasive Computing Research) which raises issues on privacy in a lesser known area of Pervasive Computing (a copy of the full paper is available free of charge on http://www.earthscanjournals.com/inbi/001/0056/0010056.pdf):

    ABSTRACT – Recent reports from the European Parliament Technology Assessment unit and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office have highlighted the need for debate on how society should balance the convenience that new technology affords with the need to preserve privacy. To date, most of the debate has addressed the more visible aspects of technology and privacy such as surveillance cameras, identity/loyalty cards, internet search engines and RFID tags. In this paper we seek to use our experience as computer scientists to advance this debate by considering issues arising from our research related to intelligent buildings and environments, such as the deployment of autonomous intelligent agents. Intelligent buildings and environments are based on the use of numerous “invisible”, omni-present, always on, communicating computers embedded in everyday artefacts and environments. Whilst most current intelligent building technology is based around automated reactive systems, research is underway that uses technology to gather personal information from people and use this information to deliver personalised services to them. While promising great benefits this technology, by being invisible and autonomous, raises significant new dangers for individuals and society as a whole. Perhaps the most significant issue is privacy – an individual’s right to control the collection and use of personal information. Rather than focusing on the ‘here and now’, this paper looks forward to where this research could lead, exploring the issues it might involve. It does this by presenting descriptions of current work, interleaved with a set of short vignettes that are intended to provoke thought so that developers and the population at large might consider the personal and regulatory needs involved. We end this paper by offering a conceptual framework for situating multi-disciplinary socio-technical research in Intelligent Buildings.

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