Ethical Data Handling

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Session Topic: Ethical Data Handling: What is it? What are the obstacles? What is success?

Tuesday 3E

Convener: Robin Wilton

Notes-taker(s): Robin Wilton

Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered: Personal data, ethics, privacy, harm


Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

We used four topics relating to personal data processing, as a framework for the discussion:

  • The principle of “no surprises” (if users found out what you were doing with their data, would they be unpleasantly surprised?)
  • The idea of “ethical dilution” (that the more data passes from one controller to another, the less responsible any of them feels towards the data subject)
  • Ethical issues in multi-stakeholder cases
  • Ethical issues in multi-context cases

Some ethical factors appeared across several topics – for instance,

  • User expectations, and informedness
  • Predictability and determinism, and their role as a trust factor
  • Power imbalances (including economic imbalances)
  • Cost/risk assessment, harm as a privacy metric