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Infrastructure Mediated Sensing of Whole-Home Human Activity

Friday, July 13, 2012: 11:00 am (Nutt): Devices are being developed to monitor what you do in your home. Even without Orwell's telescreen (which is under development), there is a lot of information that can be collected about your Activities of Daily Life. The beneficial goals of these devices include promoting positive things like water conservation, helping people improve their personal health, and monitoring people in assisted living environments. This talk will describe the technology of the devices used to collect and transmit this data, and discuss some of the social, ethical, political, economic, privacy, and legal issues raised. What could go wrong? Could these systems be used by governments to micromanage personal behavior? Could employers use these systems to regulate employees' off-duty behavior? Could such data be used to convict people in court? Could this data be stolen, abused, or falsified? The answer for each of these questions is "yes."

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