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Lifelogs and autonomy


Tim Jacquemard, Alan Smeaton, Bert Gordijn

Publication Type: 
Refereed Conference Meeting Proceeding
Autonomy seems to be a core issue for lifelogging technology as it can influence our understanding as well as our personal freedom but a comprehensive discussion on the effect of it on the autonomy of the lifelogger and others affected seems still missing in the current academic debate. In this article we provide a preliminary inquiry into this topic. First, the concept of lifelogging will be briefly clarified. In a lifelog, different data sources are combined in an archive that can be used to retrieve information about the lifelogger and the environment in which the lifelogger is situated. Second, we will discuss the effect of lifelogs on an element of autonomy, namely understanding. Lifelogs can both advance understanding as well as hinder it. Information of lifelogs is the result of social processes that can bias information and can be used to manipulate lifeloggers. Third, we will discuss another aspect of autonomy, namely being free from controlling influences. Also on this level the effect of lifelogs is ambiguous. Fourth, we will discuss the conditions under which prospective lifelogger become lifeloggers. By discussing both the effect of lifelogs on autonomy as well as joining the community of lifeloggers we aim to show the many ways in which lifelogs can compromise and advance autonomy. Fifth, some recommendations are provided that aim to address the above mentioned concerns.
Conference Name: 
Proceedings of Ethicomp 2014
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): 
Publication Date: 
Conference Location: 
Research Group: 
Dublin City University (DCU)
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