What is data ethics?

Technological developments have in history always at some point during their implementation into society forced us to revisit laws, but in particular also ethical value systems and limits.

What we experience these years is a pace of technological developments as never seen before. Evidently laws have not followed pace with the countless ethical implications of today’s rapid technological development. Now we are questioning the ethics of automatic systems designed to collect data on us en masse, algorithms designed to predict and profile us, technologies used to surveil us and manipulate us and not the least business models profiting from the most private details on individuals.

Data ethics is an approach that goes beyond what is “just and perhaps legally acceptable” when dealing with data in the digital age and takes account of the new user demands for control, as well as ethical implications and risks for the individual. It is a constructive, action oriented and human centric approach.

The data ethical approach can be used for

  • Business leaders that want to understand the new competitive edge of the privacy and data ethical market
  • Developers of digital services and products
  • Consumers that want to assess and compare digital services and products that respect their rights and treat their data ethically
  • Researchers that use digital technologies in people research
  • Proposers for calls on projects and consortiums that involve digital handling of data on people
  • Investors that want to assess the risks and due diligence of the companies they invest in
  • Professionals and civil society organisations that advocate and raise awareness on digital issues

Contact Gry for more insights about the data ethical approach.

and check out the ThinkDoTank DataEthics.EUs website for inspiration.

Gry arbejder på dansk og engelsk.

Gry Hasselbalch describes the data ethical turn at CPDP panel January 2017:

“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.”