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TILT seminar by Esther Keymolen

Topic: "Trust and Technology: The evolution of a hotel key.”


How to deal with hotel guests who forget to return their key? Over the years, hotel owners facing this challenge have come up with several technical solutions to cope with this understandable yet irresponsible behaviour of their guests. The hotel key has been replaced by a keycard and most recently by a digital key that can be downloaded on a smartphone. In her talk, Esther will argue that with every step in the innovation process, the trust relation of hotel owner and hotel guest is mediated in a distinct way. The networked nature of the digital key enables the collection of personal information based on which the hotel can tailor its services to the wishes of the hotel guests. While this may be convenient for guests it, however, also makes them vulnerable as they have only limited control over the data and increasingly come to depend on the conduct of the hotel. The digital key is not merely a key to open a hotel door; it also unlocks the personal information of the guest.


Esther Keymolen (1982) is assistant professor and director of education at eLaw, the Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden University. Esther has research interests in the philosophy of technology, online trust, digital governance, and ethics of technology. Her dissertation: Trust on the Line. A Philosophical Exploration of Trust in the Networked Era has been published by Wolf Legal Publishers. Currently, she is engaged in several case studies on trust and privacy in relation to networked technologies. Future research will focus on the development of an ethical framework to ground trust in data-driven environments.

Location: M 7, TILT Tables


When: 19 June 2018 12:00

End date: 19 June 2018 13:30