Affective Sensors, Privacy, and Ethical Contracts

Carson Reynolds, Rosalind W. Picard


Sensing affect raises critical privacy concerns, which are examined here using ethical theory, and with a study that illuminates the connection between ethical theory and privacy. We take the perspective that affect sensing systems encode a designer's ethical and moral decisions: which emotions will be recognized, who can access recognition results, and what use is made of recognized emotions. Previous work on privacy has argued that users want feedback and control over such ethical choices. In response, we develop ethical contracts from the theory of contractualism, which grounds moral decisions on mutual agreement. Current findings indicate that users report significantly more respect for privacy in systems with an ethical contract when compared to a control.

Related Content