Wi-Fi access data is a potential resource for science and research across many disciplines, as it makes possible to quantify behaviours and develop individual behaviour profiles. Examples of applications are the improvement of building energy management or emergency evacuation strategies. However, the privacy implications of this data are enormous and ill-understood. Using Wi-Fi access data as a case study, the project uses a research-through-design approach to investigate how human activity data can be used ethically and responsibly in research.
This project brings together design and computer science researchers to investigate how human activity data can be used ethically and responsibly in research. Using WIFI data as a case study we plan to investigate three core questions:
- What are the ethical, legal and organisational issues in using personal Internet of Things (IoT) data at TU Delft?
- How can individuals on campus provide meaningful consent to the collection and use of their data for research purposes?
- How can TU Delft establish a value framework for ethical and responsible IoT data research?
Using a Research-Through-Design approach, the research will be conducted in three steps. First, we will interview stakeholders to understand ethical, legal and organisational issues. Then, iteratively combining co-creation workshops and technical implementations, we will design a ‘Human Activity Data Donation’ scheme that allows data subjects to donate personal data to research projects. Finally, we will formulate a value framework for the use of personal data in research and science.
The proposed research will help to understand and mitigate these conflicts, and explore how professional, moral, social and organisational values can be combined in the design of a framework for ethical and responsible data use in science and research. In the long term, we expect that a TU Delft-wide data donation framework will enhance values of openness and collaboration across the TU Delft community.
Presentation on the project
This presentation about the project was given at the DDfV Playground Meeting of 13 December 2018.