How many steps did you take today? Have you met your goals? With its promise of personalised feedback, self-tracking technologies are promoted and used as a means to self-improvement. But what might their implications be in terms of privacy and autonomy? This is one of the lectures in "The Quantified Self" series.
How many steps did you take today? Have you met your goals? Are you sure? We witness the emergence of self-tracking apps and devices that allow us collect, share and analyse unprecedented quantities of information about ourselves. With its promise of personalised feedback, these self-tracking technologies are promoted and used as a means to self-improvement. However, this ‘self-knowledge through numbers’ requires extensive and intensive (self-)surveillance. Researcher Marjolein Lanzing will explore how the upcoming trend of self-tracking and self-quantification relates to privacy, and what ethical questions this poses. How to reflect on data retention promoted by self-tracking and the opportunities and risks this brings? And what about the assumption that big data collection and big data driven personalised feedback contribute to user empowerment? Will self-tracking strengthen or undermine our autonomy?
About Marjolein Lanzing
Marjolein Lanzing is a PhD candidate at the 4TU Centre for Ethics and Technology and works at the department of Philosophy and Ethics at the multidisciplinary faculty of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences at Eindhoven University of Technology. Her interdisciplinary project ‘The Transparent Self: Identity and Relationships in a Digital Age’ will contain a normative interpretation of the changing norms of privacy under the perspective of the changing meaning of the Self in a digital age. Her research focuses primarily on surveillance, quantification and enhancement dimensions of self-tracking technologies.
The Quantified Self
Did you track yourself today? The emergence of new technologies makes it possible for us to become our own study object and to monitor and analyse all kinds of personal indicators: how much we move, what we eat, how we perform, etcetera. This self-tracking is referred to as the ‘quantified self’. What are the potential opportunities and risks of this emerging development? How might self-quantification affect the way we live our lives? How might it alter research practices? And how does its contribution to personal and societal objectives weigh against possible adverse consequences?