April 20, 2010

Big Brother watching our parents?

Life as an elderly person can have Kafkaesque aspects. For example, whether you are allowed to continue to live independently in your own apartment can depend upon whether you are trusted to follow orders for your own good in areas such as:

Similarly, it can depend upon whether you are deemed likely, for whatever reason, to fall.

Note: All these examples are taken directly from my family’s very recent experience, although at the immediate time we have bigger problems than that.

This raises the subject of how the elderly can be provided with precious additional months or years of independent living. when constantly attentive in-home nursing assistance isn’t affordable. Well, it won’t be long before technology can monitor all of those subjects and more, via a variety of video, audio, tactile, or motion-detecting sensors. In other words, an utter Big Brother set-up is what may allow the elderly some continued freedom.

Putting it that way illustrates that there are huge reasons to invent and commercialize this kind of technology. But clearly, once invented and deployed, that technology would be horrifically easy to abuse. That’s just one more reason we really, really need to get our collective liberty and privacy act together.

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Comments

2 Responses to “Big Brother watching our parents?”

  1. Reconciling medical privacy and elder care | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on September 13th, 2010 1:48 am

    [...] Elder care raises a variety of privacy concerns [...]

  2. The essential questions of Fair Data Use : DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on March 3rd, 2012 2:21 pm

    [...] from any kind of in-home sensor – for example, your electricity meter may provide substantial clues as to how you entertain [...]

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