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Defined ethics (used with a sing. verb): The study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person; moral philosophy. • ethics (used with a sing. or pl. verb): The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession: medical ethics. • American Heritage Dictionary
“An ethical issue is said to arise whenever one party in pursuit of its goals engages in behavior that materially affects the ability of another party to pursue its goals. ” Mason, and Culnan, Ethics of Information Management, Sage
Ethical Guidelines • The ability to cause harmful consequences >> need for ethical behavior. • Power >> consequences. • Agency: acting on behalf of others is power. • Control over scarce resources is power. • Information is power. Confidentiality, privacy. • Info and info systems have economic , social, political effects. Design is political.
Reasons formal ethical codes • To regulate members= behavior – To inform them of expected behavior – Reminder that ethical behavior overrides many other considerations – Reminder of personal responsibility • To hold members accountable – Bases for judging in cases of breach – Help address situations where conflicting views of what is right are possible • To present profession to society – State its ethical bases, reassure stakeholders, and give them a basis for evaluating professionals
Ethics and needs and usability assessment • User and task analysis • Testing • User information collected by system in operation • Design
principles • Non-harming • Honesty
User and task analysis • What we ask & observe – Privacy – Trust – Willingness to ‘look bad’ • How we use that information – How we interpret it – How we report it – Whom we tell – Managers and supervisors? – Confidentiality and harming?
Testing • Concerns – Treatment of test subjects • How testers treat them • Effects on them of the test situation – Use of the data – Special populations • Children • Internal subjects • Methods – Informed consent – Human subjects review
User information collected by system in operation • • What is collected How is it used What does the user know What control does the user have – Over how info used – Correcting info
Truste model privacy statementhttp • What personally identifiable info [NAME] collects. • What personally identifiable information third parties collect through the Web site. • What organization collects the information. • How [NAME] uses the information. • With whom [NAME] may share user information. • What choices are available to users regarding collection, use and distribution of the information. • What decurity procedures protect from loss, misuse or alteration of information under [NAME] control. • How users can correct any inaccuracies
Design itself • Technology and anger • “Making people feel stupid” • Inconvenience is more than an inconvenience • Trust and reliability – A system that doesn’t do what the user expects
Other areas of ethical dilemmas • Intellectual property • Altering results – Being asked to – Being tempted to – When is it “altering”?