JCDL 2015 Conference - Knoxville, TN - Part 1

I’m posting some brief notes on the presentations from JCDL 2015. Here are some thoughts and notes from the first day.

Panel on Lifelong Digital Libraries, a discussion of how the digital library community may respond to the growing amount of personal data people are capturing in their daily lives. Some examples of technologies that allow lifelogging are fitness trackers, Google glass, and mobile phone cameras. The discussion was moderated by Sally Jo Cunningham and included short presentations by Haavard Johansen, Taro Tezuka, Cathal Gurrin

Cathal Gurrin

  • lifelog, ubiquitous sensors e.g. photos clips that take 2000 photos per day and clip onto your lapel
  • lifelogging has been around for many years - 100 years discussed
  • benefits - health, productivity, personal, security, societal
  • problems : no unified software, no search or semantics, no preservation, no privacy considerations, personal relationships changing over time.

Taro Tezuka

  • search capability is as important as storage capabilities for lifelogs
  • clever indexing of recorded content is necessary for implementing a useful lifelog system
  • unless it is useful immediately, people will not participate
  • working on a system: LifeRecycle - record, speech recognition, store, search.

Haavard Johansen

  • discussion of privacy and security. Privacy and security are the hard, social problems. We can see a way forward for the technology to develop, see Google and Facebook purusing deep learning for visual recognition, but we cannot see the solution to any of the privacy and security problems.


  • killer app - improving personal productivity, according to Cathal; the extra little bit of connection, according to Sally. My observation - these, especially productivity improvement and health logging, are supports for a neoliberal, capitalist worldview and system. Isn’t lifelogging the same as surveillance by another name? Won’t privacy become a feature for the rich or powerful to buy? Governments or companies have the power to regulate where pictures are being taken or conversations recorded. I don’t think the CIA will let people lifelog in their buildings, and they have the power to stop such technologies, but I don’t have the power to stop them from surveilling my house. This is a recap of David Brin’s argument from The Transparent Society.
  • Health surveillance. I detect a a strong wiff of solutionism.
  • Distinction between work and law. How do life roles play into lifelogging? For example, any work email sent from an account makes that account subject to FOIA - freedom of information act.