Privacy, Law & Ethical Cross Cutting Theme update

In order to reflect on impacts for wider human values and embed safeguards into technologies being introduced by Services Campaign projects, Peter and Lachlan have been holding workshops with members of Memory Machine, In My Seat and Panopticon. These workshops used the Moral-IT and Legal –IT cards developed as part of the Towards Moral-IT and Legal-IT research ongoing at Horizon Digital Economy Research.

 

As mentioned in the previous blog, the Legal-IT cards translate a range of data related legal frameworks into card form, from the new EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016 and Network and Information Security Regulation 2016, to the earlier Cybercrime Convention 2001. The Moral-IT cards pose difficult ethical questions clustered under the themes of privacy, security, law and ethics, such as “IDENTITIES MANAGEMENT: does your technology enable users to hold and manage multiple identities?” or “SUSTAINABILITY AND eWASTE – What effects does your technology have on the environment from creation to destruction?”. These thought provoking questions help participants to think of unexpected implications of their technology.

During a workshop, participants were asked to reflect on the technology they were building and identify an overall ‘ethical risk’ that may impact the social desirability of the technology and for its users, particularly in relation to its use of personal data. This could include the identity risks from sensitive data being compromised by poor data security practices, or personal privacy harms for individuals’ private details being made visible to unexpected parties.   The groups used the Moral – IT and Legal-IT cards in a streamlined ethical impact assessment process to reflect on the overall risk, discuss and identify potential safeguards against these risks and also identify challenges of implementation of these safeguards. This activity resulted in a wide range of critical ethical questions being explored in relation to the technology with the cards and structure of the task enabling the participants to navigate the difficult ethical questions and link their technology to ethical and legal concerns more widely.

The cards were also used as part of workshop run by Lachlan and Martin Flintham, as part of their Digital Research funded project, to generate thought and encourage discussion about ethical implications of using the ‘Internet of Things’ in both the university and research environment.

We were pleased with how the participants took to the cards. They enjoyed using them and found them helpful in exploring and engaging with the ethical and legal issues in relation to their technology. They were received well, with their utility in structuring debate around complex topics. However, they also brought the wide range of issues to the fore. We are therefore encouraged that the cards have the potential to be a particularly useful tool in enabling technology developers and users to reflect on and navigate the complex ethics of their technology and produce more socially desirable technology as a result.

If you would like to know more, the Moral-IT and Legal-IT cards, and an outline of a way to use them, are now available to download online from ‘Experience Horizon’– a website which provides opportunities to try out some of the outputs from projects conducted at Horizon Digital Economy Research. If you do choose to investigate them further, we would really like to build up dialogue on who you are, how you are using the cards, why and any feedback you have on the tool/process. Please send these on to lachlan.urquhart@gmail.com.

Members of the Privacy, Law and Ethics Cross Cutting Theme are planning analysis and preparing a paper to submit to the Journal of Responsible Innovation, towards the end of the year.

Finally, following a presentation of the project, the Privacy, Law and Ethics Cross Cutting Theme project has been neatly summed up in a visual form as can be seen below – our thanks and acknowledgment to Rikki Marr of HAWK&MOUSE.

Written by: Lachlan Urquhart and Peter Craigon

Towards Moral-IT and Legal-IT by Design

We are pleased to begin the ‘Privacy, Law and Ethics’ cross-cutting project as part of the Horizon services campaign. We will be adopting a ‘responsible research & innovation’ led approach to surfacing ethical and legal issues within each of the respective service campaign projects. The goal is to reflect on impacts for wider human values and embed safeguards into the technologies from the beginning, for both research and deployment.

We will be doing this by running a series of workshops with the research teams and partners using our newly developed Moral-IT and Legal-IT cards.

The Moral-IT cards have a broad scope, drawing on a principles and concepts from ethics, privacy, security and law more widely. Their process for use is a more user-friendly impact assessment to foreground risks, likelihood of occurrence, safeguards, and strategies for implementation. We observed a wide range of frameworks from STS, HCI, computer ethics and law to distil our process. These include:

Value sensitive design (Friedman et al 2008),

Reflective design (Sengers et al 2005), a variety of impact assessments including Ethical (SATORI, 2016)/social (Edwards, Diver and McAuley 2016)/surveillance) /privacy (Wright and De Hert, 2012)/ RFID (Spiekermann, 2011) / data protection (ICO, 2014),

Responsible research and innovation (Stahl, Eden and Jirotka, 2013),

Human data interaction (Mortier and Crabtree, 2015),

Real time technology assessment (Guston and Sarewitz, 2002);

Anticipatory governance (Barben et al, 2008)

These new cards and process been developed as part of the project ‘About Algorithms and Beyond’ between project lead Lachlan Urquhart and Peter Craigon.  Peter will continue to work with Lachlan in this new project.

The Legal-IT cards focus on five regulatory frameworks relevant to IT, namely the General Data Protection Regulation 2016; Network and Information Security Directive 2016; Cybercrime Convention 2001; Attacks Against Information Systems Directive 2013, and proposed e-Privacy Regulation 2017.

This approach builds on Lachlan’s previous experience using ‘privacy by design’ cards as a tool to supporting reflection and action by IT designers on data protection compliance issues. Through the combination of both decks in exercises and games within the workshops, we will develop understanding of how a variety of issues are being negotiated within different sectors. Given the breadth of the Services campaign, this will include health & wellbeing (ALFE, Memory Machine); transportation (In My Seat); fast moving consumer goods (Hybrid Gifting) & cultural heritage (Panopticon).

For more information please contact: Dr Lachlan Urquhart, Research Fellow, Horizon Digital Economy Research