The integration of fundamental European values into information and communication technologies for ageing

New information and communication technologies can make life easier for the elderly. They can, however, also affect people's right to privacy and individuality.

Assistive information and communication technology (ICT) may help the elderly to live their independent lives. However, it may conflict with fundamental rights and values. Main goal of the study is to explore how technology has to be developed for individual dignity and autonomy to prevail.

Fundamental European values must remain

The project Value Ageing aims to foster co-operation between non-commercial and commercial entities on a joint research project about the incorporation of fundamental values of the EU in ICT for ageing. The project is situated within the People Programme on incorporating European Fundamental Values into ICT for Ageing, starting in November 2010.

ITA is responsible for the work package Best Practices – identification, analysis and collection:Until the end of September 2012, we will collect the regulatory and legal framework for best practice cases. From then onwards, we will search for best practice cases in the three areas of e-accessibility, ICT training for the social web as well as home care with technology support. The examples will be available later in 2014 in a database. The overall objective of the project "Value Ageing" is to develop guidelines for the design of assistive technologies for the elderly, which are in line with European values.

How much technology is useful

Our mission as an interdisciplinary research institute is to look at the living conditions of elderly people in a holistic way. If ICTs are used to provide dignified ageing with the help of technology, they must be designed in line with basic values and not conflicting with them. Most functions can be implemented without negative side effects, being thought of at early stages of development. The basic question is: How much technology is necessary in order to achieve a certain standard of care without compromising one’s privacy, dignity, and individuality.


10/2010 - 08/2014