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New Catalan report on Data Protection quotes our expert in ethics

One year ago, the Catalan Authority on Data Protection invited our expert in ethics and data protection, Itziar Lecuona, to be part of the report on data protection and AI, etc. The report was issued last January 2020 and builds on the NESTORE case study.

"[Older adults using the NESTORE system] are given a smartphone and they have to photograph what they have in the fridge, what they eat, etc. With computer vision algorithms, they predict what they have according to their state of health" says Itziar de Lecuona, one of the researchers of NESTORE.

"In the house they also have an apparatus (virtual assistant) which reminds them that they have to go out for walks, the minimum steps or other types of physical exercise. You end up becoming a very close companion because they know everything about you: illnesses and medication, food, hours of rest, whether you have moved or not, if you have been in contact with the family, if you have received visits, etc." she adds.

The expert in the ethical and legal aspects of biomedicine warns that, in the field of biomedical research, much of the research projects being evaluated are based on the convergence of technologies, including artificial intelligence and the application of mass data analytics.

"The problem is that decisions are made about me, through data that is mine, but that I will never know is who owns them, or why they are being used. If ethics is about happiness and freer societies, the application of AI should make us reflect on the role individuals play as holders of this personal data. Who is in control and who should have it? It's about rethinking the ability to control our data and our privacy in digital society" argues Itziar de Lecuona.

Itziar de Lecuona is associate professor at the University of Barcelona, Department of Medicine and Assistant Director of the Bioethics and Law Observatory - UNESCO Chair in Bioethics. In NESTORE, Itziar is in charge of the ethical, legal and societal issues of the NESTORE Pilot and Responsible Research and Innovation approach.

Read the full Catalan report

Read the press release

Learn more about ethics in NESTORE