Lifelogging technologies may enable and motivate individuals to pervasively capture data about them, their environment, and the people with whom they interact in order to receive a variety of services to increase their health, well-being, and independence. There are limited studies about the ethico-legal implications of the use of these technologies to support older and frail people.

PAAL aims to understand users’ requirements in terms of perceived benefits and barriers and to increase the awareness of the ethical, legal, social, and privacy issues associated with lifelogging, establishing guidelines for responsible research in these technologies. These guidelines will be the basis to propose and develop during the project a variety of privacy-aware and acceptable lifelogging services for older and frail people.



Each individual has their own personal perception and appreciation about what data is private and under which conditions private information may be made available to others and to whom. This perception may differ according to gender, age, social and cultural background, health status, personality factors, or other personal circumstances. PAAL will also examine the data protection obligations of life-logging technologies developed to enhance the quality of life of older citizens. It is clear that such systems will collect a large amount of personal data of those individuals seeking to benefit from them. These data include everything from general personal details such as names and addresses to information about the individual’s daily movements. Other more sensitive personal data may also be collected concerning the medical history, ethnic origins, or sexual orientation. The storage, use and transfer of these data must comply with rigorous data protection laws and, in particular, the forthcoming GDPR. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of these issues linked to lifelogging services for older adults will be performed, involving researchers and users from several countries in order to get pertinent input on these topics from across Europe and Canada.


People de-identification plays a major role in addressing legal and privacy concerns in lifelogging. However, users’ identification may not be an issue, as they would have approved the disclosure of data to service providers or other stakeholders. In addition, an issue arises with the identification of those persons interacting with the user or by-standers, who may not have agreed to be recorded. It is more pertinent what information about appearance (video), health status (physiological signals), communications (audio) and behaviour is disclosed. Collaboration between technical experts in lifelogging technologies and experts in privacy and ethico-legal issues will foster the development of systems that follow a privacy-by-design approach. However, ensuring privacy may have special influence in the possibility of providing some services. For instance, if an application stores images in order to allow people with mild dementia to recall events or persons, de-identifying those persons (e.g. by blurring their faces) will have a negative effect in the service provided. Hence, a trade-off would need to be achieved between privacy protection and utility of the data.


When dealing with lifelogging, one of its specific features (i.e. the use of a huge variety of sensors collecting multimodal signals and data about the monitored person) may easily become also one of the major limitations, as the amount of generated data grows quite rapidly. Just as an example, a narrative camera may take about 4,000 images per day, and record 10s videos at specific moments. This makes almost 1.5 million images per year. Therefore, in order to ensure the sustainability of services relying on lifelogging, suitable strategies are needed to cope with data obesity. The project will investigate algorithms for data conditioning and filtering, in order to convert massive raw sensor data into a compact and semantically meaningful information, without losing any relevant property needed by the specific service or application relying on the lifelogged data themselves.


The project will develop several lifelogging services with applications in a variety of health and wellbeing domains. PAAL will apply the knowledge developed in the previous objectives to finalise these services and to ensure that key aspects are being taken into account with respect to factors previous outlined (e.g. privacy and acceptance). To ensure the feasibility of achieving these objectives PAAL will avoid new developments but it will integrate available technologies offering new services and validating them with users from different countries.