Tracking you for your own good

2019 Talk


Tracking, surveillance, knowing where you are , whether through bespoke devices or even your personal phone, has become a fact of life. One that can be and has been easily misused and even abused.

But what about those instances when the user truly benefits from it? How do we, as designers, information architects, humans, mitigate the right to privacy of our users when balanced with the real world benefits of knowing where they are, what they are doing. Sometimes it is literally a life saver.

In this talk we will outline examples of beneficial tracking across multiple industries, from security and fire safety, to education, to health and many more. Show how they were implemented in an ethical and beneficial way for both users and customers alike.

As a community did we always get it right? No we haven’t. Like all other industries, we have made mistakes and have had failures. But we have learnt from them, by analyzing our decisions and the consequences they imposed on the user, by better understanding the ethics and the moral impact of these decisions, by reaching out to the end user and better understanding why this type of experience can be positive for them.

In conclusion, by presenting real life examples that were both failures and successes, we want the audience to be able to take with them the knowledge we and the industry have learnt so far, the mistakes that were made and the successes that were created that impacted real lives so that they too can leverage this knowledge when faced with similar design and ethical challenges.