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Data Ethics: It's murder out there...

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Neill Lecture Theatre, Trinity Long Room Hub

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In the classic ‘whodunit’, the detective is always looking for the person who had the means, motive and opportunity. The use of our personal data online may not always be a matter of life and death, but those three factors - means, motive and opportunity - turn out to be a quite helpful lens through which to examine many of the issues to do with ethical data handling. Do data subjects have the means and the opportunity to control their own digital destinies, and if not, why not? What motivates online service providers, governments and other stakeholders to use personal data as they do, and how do those motivations reflect the power balance between them and the data subject?

Using this framework Wilton will look at some of the classic ethical models including consequentialist; rule-based/deontological; other kantian principles; rawls and “justice”; and virtue ethics. Most of these have clear practical shortcomings when applied to the online context; some may offer part of a solution, or at least suggest a path towards one.

The digital world is ever more intimately entwined with our lives, and issues of digital ethics are in the headlines. Whether you are a data controller consuming and monetising personal data, or a citizen/consumer whose data is being collected, you have ethical questions to address, but the frameworks for doing so are still immature and partly-formed. The Internet Society will be working to develop practical guidance in this area, over the course of 2016. This session is an opportunity to help shape that work.

Organised by the Ethics & Privacy Working Group of the ADAPT Centre, in conjunction with the Trinity Long Room Hub, TCD School of Law, TCD School of Religions, Peace Studies and Theology, TCD Library and DCU Institute of Ethics.

Information on the series can be found at: http://adaptcentre.ie/ethics-privacy

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Neill Lecture Theatre, Trinity Long Room Hub

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