Today it’s a competitive edge for companies to respect user privacy and their right to control their own data. The organizations who view data ethics as a social responsibility – who place similar importance on data as they do environmental awareness and respect for human rights – will win in the market.
We ask artificially intelligent systems to make order in our messy modern realities, but very rarely do we question what type of order. This is a call for an historical awareness of the social systems that we are building: Which social, cultural norms, values and interests do they represent, reinforce and enact?
The IAPP is the largest and most comprehensive global information privacy community and resource. Founded in 2000, the IAPP is a not-for-profit organization that helps define, support and improve the privacy profession globally.
– by Gry Hasselbalch (based on panel debate participation, Ethics, Observational Platforms, Mathematics and Fundamental Rights, CPDP, Brussels, 2017)
A few years ago a social media company decided to do some experiments on its users. Filling their news feeds with positive or negative stories, they were measuring hundreds of thousands of people’s emotional reactions. When the story surfaced there was of course a public out cry and the company found it self in a situation where it had to show that it cared. So a spokesperson apologized publically. However, she didnt apologize because what they did had been ethically questionable, they were just sorry that it had been “poorly communicated”.
Legally you can do a lot with data right now, and a lot is done with data, that is not necesarilly in the best interest of the individual. And this is the point where we revisit ethics – when the laws, social awareness and formal systems in place are not enough.
“Legally you can do a lot with data right now, and a lot is done with data, that is not in the best interest of the individual. This is where we revisit ethics. When the laws and formal systems are not enough.”
TALKS & EVENTS: “How can you put a health warning on a product if you don’t even know the ingredients”. Talking about Data Ethics at Internet Governance Forum 2015
TALKS & EVENTS: The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a series of annual conferences organized by the UN. It brings together representatives from various stakeholder groups in discussions on public policy issues relating to the Internet. The IGF informs those with policy-making power in both the public and private sectors. At their annual meeting delegates discuss, exchange information and share good practices with each other.
TALKS & EVENTS: On 29th October representatives of toy companies and tech critics met to discuss the evolving Internet of Toys and the data ethical implications of this at the European Commission Safer Internet Forum. The fact that we are talking about data ethics with toy makers at this early stage of the development of an internet of toys is yet another symptom of the paradigm shift in business development where privacy and data ethics increasingly are perceived as competitive parameters.
TALKS & EVENTS: Key experts from an interdiciplinary field met in Copenhagen in November 2014 to discuss privacy as innovation.
AWARENESS RAISING: “Henrik Kramshøj is a Whitehat-hacker with his own company, Gry Hasselbalch is active in Privacy and has previously worked for the Danish Media Council for Children and Young People and Alexander Mills is a High School student with a particular interest in safety in cyberspace. I november Aflyttets host Anders Kjærulff invited them to talk about safety and privacy in two programmes…”. The Danish radio programme Aflyttet “Surveilled” brought these two programmes to guide and provide listeners with tools to safeguard their privacy in 2014. Listen to them here (in Danish).
Last week I chaired the Privacy as Innovation II workshop at the Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul (the Privacy and Innovation I workshop we held at IGF 2013, Bali).
We have moved on to an important stage in the evolution of the internet characterized by an increasing demand from all sectors of society to regain control. This stage is comprised by legal/interstate responses to the challenges to privacy, technical community responses and civil society sentiments and actions.
(IGF) Workshop (308) Background Paper and video of workshop.
Notes based on talk at EC event:
Media literacy is to the 21st century what literacy was to the 20th. To be media literate is a precondition for participating fully in the network society. However, the notion that access and technical skills automatically lead to full participation should be questioned. The media literate citizen today needs not only a connection and technical skills, but s/he also must have the skills to read and write various media forms as well as the social and ethical skills to navigate competently within the digital media environment.