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 Network on Privacy-Aware Audio- and Video-Based Applications for Active and Assisted Living

Funded under: COST Program

Project reference: COST Action CA 19121


Start date 29 September 2020     End date 28 September 2024

Keywords: Video-based health monitoring; Privacy-preservation; Active and Assisted Living

Europe faces crucial challenges regarding health and social care due to the demographic change and current economic context. Active and Assisted Living (AAL) are a possible solution to face them. AAL aims at improving health, quality of life, and wellbeing of older, impaired and frail people. AAL systems use different sensors to monitor the environment and its dwellers. Cameras and microphones are being more frequently used for AAL. They allow to monitor an environment and gather information, being the most straightforward and natural ways of describing events, persons, objects, actions, and interactions. Recent advances have given these devices the ability to ‘see’ and ‘hear’. However, their use can be seen as intrusive by some end users (assisted persons, and professional and informal caregivers.)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) establishes the obligation for technologies to meet the principles of data protection by design and data protection by default. Therefore, AAL solutions must consider privacy-by-design methodologies in order to protect the fundamental rights of those being monitored.

The aim of GoodBrother is to increase the awareness on the ethical, legal, and privacy issues associated to audio- and video-based monitoring and to propose privacy-aware working solutions for assisted living, by creating an interdisciplinary community of researchers and industrial partners from different fields (computing, engineering, healthcare, law, sociology) and other stakeholders (users, policy makers, public services), stimulating new research and innovation. GoodBrother will offset the “Big Brother” sense of continuous monitoring by increasing user acceptance, exploiting these new solutions, and improving market reach. ISTI is involved with the Signals & Images Lab, by contributing on privacy-preserving image and video analysis methods and as part of the Management Committee of the Action.