ESR1 - Caterina Maidhof

ESR photo
Caterina Maidhof
Research project
“Perceptions of personal privacy in different users regarding health monitoring technologies”
About the project

This project seeks to identify differently perceived dimensions and degrees of personal privacy by potential users of a broad range of health monitoring technologies (e.g., video-based, audio-based, sensor-based). Perceptions of privacy are analysed technology-specifically, while as well considering user group-specific needs and requirements in diverse contexts. Potential users of such technology can be of the entire lifespan; however, this project mainly targets older and frail persons, who have experiences with chronic illnesses and care. The here resulting graduations of privacy can be elaborated and then appropriately concerned by respective stakeholders.

Start date: April 2021

Expected end date: March 2024

Progress of the project

After an initial review of existing literature on privacy perceptions and technology acceptance, with a specific focus on video-based AAL, a first qualitative assessment was conceptualised and then completed with participants from all ages (range: 23 – 81 years), questions regarding the role of privacy in daily life and feelings of privacy violations. Furthermore, participants´ cognitive representations of living with AAL in older age were examined through the creation of mental models. The latter resulted useful in eliciting participants’ understanding of privacy within such a scenario. Based on this qualitative study a quantitative study (online survey) was carried out to quantify several privacy parameters (i.e., feelings of privacy violation, critical intruders into privacy as well as the comfortableness of being filmed during activities of daily living). 

In an interdisciplinary collaboration among social scientists and computer scientists, with ESR14, the role of nudity for video-based AAL was examined from two different angles. The social perspective reported users’ preferences and opinions on showing skin while being monitored with cameras whereas the technological perspective provided insights on skin segmentation approaches. Moreover, in collaboration with ESR15, a scoping review on acceptance and privacy perceptions toward video-based AAL technologies has been completed.  

Recently, another qualitative and quantitative study has been carried out with specific focus on the evaluation of acceptance and privacy when it comes to different activities of daily living (i.e., household activities vs. social activities vs. intimate activities). Data from both assessments are currently being analysed.

Scientific publications

Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing? Identification and Quantification of Relevant Privacy Parameters Within the Acceptance of AAL Technology

Caterina Maidhof, Julia Offermann, Martina Ziefle

In: Maciaszek, L.A., Mulvenna, M.D., Ziefle, M. (eds) Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health. ICT4AWE ICT4AWE 2021 2022. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 1856. Springer, Cham.

About the ESR

Caterina received a MSc in Applied Cognitive Psychology from Utrecht University in 2020. In her Master Thesis she investigated the potential of personal speech alerts for automotive settings. She holds a BSc in Communication from the University of Southern Switzerland (2018). 

Contact information

Caterina Maidhof
Chair of Communication Science

Institute of Language and communication studies
Human-Computer Interaction Center
RWTH Aachen University 
Campus Boulevard 57
52074 Aachen

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