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Managing privacy and risks with wearable cameras

wearable camera privacy

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When using wearable cameras in a study, do you have participants wear the device all the time? How do you exclude images not related to the study?

Katie Crist

Posts: 6
posted in reply to anonymous

We asked adult participants to wear them during waking hours. For children, we had them wear the camera outside of school hours. For our studies, we were interested in physical activity, sedentary and eating behaviors, so most wear time is "related" to the study. We did not exclude images unless asked to do so by participants. In addition to the privacy button that could be pressed on the camera, we gave participants a notebook to write down any times that they wanted to remember to remove images. When participants returned to our offices, they were allowed to review all images first and remove any they wished.
Hope this helps!

Edison Thomaz

Posts: 1

We've run a few different studies with wearable cameras and they have been slightly different due to improvements that we make both on the wearable sensors/data and in terms of privacy-protection (of participants and bystanders). We ask participants to wear the camera for as long as they can, and feel free to temporarily remove it if they are not comfortable while wearing it, such as when attending a social event. Our most recent protocol does not allow us to have students wear the cameras in class, for instance. All photos taken by the wearable camera are uploaded in real-time to a server with a web app front-end. Participants log into the web app with their credentials and annotate their photos according to the labels available, which might change according to the nature of the study and research questions; we've run studies focused on dietary activities and everyday activity recognition. Following this model, the research team does not even need to have contact/see the photos, as they are labeled/deleted by participants with this system that we put in place. We plan to share this system with the community, so if you are interested, please reach out to me.