Digital Health Privacy in Active-Aging Settings: Will the Law Let You Age Well?

18 Journal on Active Aging 14 (Nov./Dec. 2019)

Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 20-04

9 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2020

See all articles by Tara Sklar

Tara Sklar

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Christopher T. Robertson

Boston University; University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law; Harvard University - Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics

Richard Carmona

University of Arizona - Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Kathie Insel

University of Arizona

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

What is privacy and how are our interpretations of it changing with advances in technology? This question, and concerns around potentially violating a person’s right to privacy, have been emerging across industries around the world. Senior living providers have increased their exposure to privacy risks with the shift to implementing sensors throughout their communities. Typically located in digital health devices that can be worn on the body or placed in the environment, these sensors are capable of collecting and tracking data relevant to a person’s health and well-being on a continuous monitoring basis.

There are privacy laws and a growing public awareness that this type of 24/7 surveillance—and the unprecedented detailed level of data it generates—should be accompanied by measures that support personal data protection. It is important to note that these privacy risks also apply outside the housing context. For example, seniors centers that use (or are planning to use) sensors to monitor participants and collect the generated data are similarly exposed.

Benefits of sensor surveillance and monitoring of personal data must be balanced with safeguarding protections, especially for cognitively impaired older adults.

Keywords: aging, privacy, senior living providers, senior centers, surveillance, digital health devices, tracking

Suggested Citation

Sklar, Tara and Robertson, Christopher T. and Carmona, Richard and Insel, Kathie, Digital Health Privacy in Active-Aging Settings: Will the Law Let You Age Well? (2019). 18 Journal on Active Aging 14 (Nov./Dec. 2019), Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 20-04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3526369

Tara Sklar (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

Christopher T. Robertson

Boston University ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
6179100649 (Phone)
02215 (Fax)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.arizona.edu/faculty/getprofile.cfm?facultyid=714

Harvard University - Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics ( email )

23 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02155
United States

Richard Carmona

University of Arizona - Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health ( email )

Tucson, AZ

Kathie Insel

University of Arizona ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

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