Highlights of SmartWork @ AAL Forum 2019

The SmartWork project and partners enjoyed a busy couple of days at AAL Forum 2019, participating in workshops, exhibiting a prototype and networking with some of the 700 delegates gathered in Aarhus, Denmark, a city world-renowned for having embraced technology to help older people live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives in their own homes for as long as possible

Federica Porcu (ECHAlliance) and Joao Quintas (IPN) promoting SmartWork in the Exhibition Area @ AAL Forum

In the AAL Exhibition Area, Federica Porcu and João Quintas, from SmartWork partners ECHAlliance and Instituto Pedro Nunes, used their Exhibition Booths as a base from which to network with AAL delegates, display a slideshow presentation on the SmartWork project and hand out project leaflets.

João also demonstrated the protype IPN mouse and explained to delegates the benefits that can be derived from it, as part of a suite of SmartWork services, for older office workers, their employers and carers.

At the AAL workshop sessions, the SmartWork project featured in Workshop 29: ‘Ethics, data and privacy protection: who will take responsibility and how we proceed to a common framework for IT-AHA in Europe?’. The goal of the workshop was to generate discussion on how to make sure that older – mostly not tech-savvy – people who use non-medical technology solutions are ‘safe’ with regards to their data and privacy. It is essential to raise their awareness, so they are able to make ‘safe’ choices themselves, but policy making at a European level on the ethical framework is another essential way to protect them.

With over 60 participants, the workshop began with an introduction by Elisa Irlandese, (DG CNCY, European Commission), and 2 keynote speeches: Ellen Steenmeijer and Stephanie Koenderink presented the perspective of the end-user awareness and Carina Dantas (of SmartWork partner, Caritas Coimbra) introduced the need for the European policy making.

In group discussions with SMEs and other AAL/H2020 projects, Sonja Hansen, of SmartWork partner CAT, introduced the SmartWork project and addressed the main ethical challenges in the work environment.

Highlights from Workshop 29 on Ethics, privacy & data protection, chaired by Carina Dantas (from SmartWork partner, Caritas Coimbra), which featured the SmartWork project

This built on an article developed previously by Cáritas Coimbra that refers to the main challenges of addressing ethical issues arising from the use of new technologies by older people in the work environment. Problems such as the flexibility of the time to work, the possibility of working from home and the transparency of the data that is shared and how it is being saved were some of the topics discussed at the Smartwork group.

The main outcomes of the discussions defined, on end-user awareness, that data sharing is also a question of trust. In some countries it is difficult for public authorities/administration to collect reliable data from the users because the population does not trust these stakeholders. Local public authorities should have a role in the dissemination of the Ethics, data and privacy protection legislation under each community in order to keep the society informed and safe. The Workshop closed with participants agreeing that more discussion was needed on this hot topic, and it is expected that this will feature in the 2020 AAL Forum to take place in Nice, France. The slides from Workshop 29 are available here.

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Questions? Contact smartwork@echalliance.com