Find out more about our publications.

Working paper one

Our paper identifies some of the possible ethical issues surrounding the creation and use of sleep monitoring technology (SMT). We begin by examining the technical developments that have transformed sleep observation and begin to categorise currently available devices and the potential ethical issues of each. We then move from designers to users to explore how ‘ethics’ get framed and constructed by different key stakeholders. The next sections looks at how the practice of sleep monitoring is related to the emerging Quantified-Self (QS) movement and notions of ‘self’ and ‘social’ surveillance. Following this, we interrogate the ethical implications of people’s sleep information being incorporated into Big Data and the possible implications this has for privacy and pre-emption and use in government surveillance, consumer marketing and hacking and activism. We then consider current practices of surveillance in the arenas of social and healthcare and employment. Our concluding section summarises the potential ethical issues identified in this paper and prospective areas of future research.

Working paper two

This paper follows on from working paper one which explored the ethical landscape of emerging sleep monitoring technology (SMT). Here we explore the various methodological techniques that can be used to investigate this phenomena. We begin by outlining the main ethical considerations that mark online research as different from offline. In this, we survey the public/private dichotomy, cross-cultural applicability, anoymization and confidentiality, informed consent and privacy settings and vulnerable participants. We continue by exploring the suitability of four main methods, which are: social media analysis, ethnography (both on and offline), expert interviews and invisible design. In these sections we pay close attention to the epistemology, practicality and ethics of each approach. We conclude with a summary of the paper and a consideration of how research in this field could benefit by the adoption of a mixed-methods approach. 

Working paper three

This draft working paper is the outcome of a series of expert interviews. In identifying experts, we understand that this is not a class of people separate from 'non-experts' but rather that every research topic will have a different criteria of what constitutes the 'expert' and 'expert knowledge'. There is also within this different types of 'expert knowledge' and for our investigation on the emerging ethical landscape of consumer sleep tracking, we sought interviews with a variety of people with different types of technical and specialized expertise and experiences.

Working paper four

This draft working paper outlines findings from a survey of users and non-users of sleep monitoring technology (SMT) and semi-structured interviews (n=17) with users and non-users (n=3). The empirical section is divided into three parts. The first categorises the different ways SMTs are used and in this we identified five user practices: non-engager; ambivalent user, record keeper, information seeker and performance enhancer. The second part carefully considers the ways the data that these devices produce is shared with others. We illustrate how it is shared on social media, how it is used to supplement existing forms of sociality (in both intimate and casual interactions) and how it is and might be used by third parties and corporate entities. The third empirical section looks at the topic of practice change to consider the extent SMTs are altering the environment and behaviour of users. In this we look at the importance of trust and contextual factors. We conclude by giving an overview of our findings and consider how this documents relates to other working papers completed as part of this research project.