Friday, September 25, 2009


I just picked up a new book entitled Total Recall: How the e-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything!. The book chronicles Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell's work on the MyLifeBits project Microsoft Research. The premise of this project is to develop technology that will allow people to digitally record every event in their lives including video streams, audio streams, texts, images, etc.

As we've discussed in class ,a series of technological developments including Moore's Law dictates that computing devices will shrink in size, speed up in processing time, decrease in price, and increase in function. This trend will allow people to carry "sensors" that will record their conversations and grab video of their daily interactions.

The MyLifeBits project is the logical extension of these technological trends. It seems inevitable that people will embrace "life logging." Even those who opt-out will be forced to contend with this type of technology as their conversations and interactions can easily be captured by other life loggers.

What types of privacy harms would occur if this type of life logging technology became widely available?


Mallory Kiplinger said...

According to the taxonomy we discussed in class, I think that a lot of privacy harms will occur if people adopt life logging technology. I think surveillance is the major violation of this. Like the post said, even if you don't carry "sensors" around, people you interact with will. They will capture daily video and conversations of you. This will change our behavior and the way we act when we are interacting with people who are known participants in life logging and make us suspicious of people that we are uncertain of whether or not they are recording our interaction. I think that could cause a huge paranoia among people. Another harm is insecurity. You don't know what individuals are doing with the data they are collecting. It could be used for secondary use within the information dissemination section of the taxonomy. Perhaps for blackmail or distortion. Finally, it also is an intrusion of our privacy by disturbing our daily activities if we do not want to participate in this life logging world.

Anonymous said...

Lifelogging is not that popular in the wild yet. I've been doing it for about 7 years now, and I've learned to be *very* discreet in revealing that I'm a lifelogger. It's much worse than being gay. People are very much "creeped out" by the idea that their conversations with you are being recorded. It's also a huge legal target if you are a known lifelogger, since your data store is a big fat target for a subpoena if you get entangled in any legal disputes. So when it comes to life logging, the policy is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."