Ethical Dimensions of User Centric Regulation
CEPE/ETHICOMP 2017, Values in Emerging Science and Technology, University of Turin, Italy June 5-8
15 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2017 Last revised: 12 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 2, 2017
In this paper, we question the ethical role of information technology (IT) designers in IT regulation. We situate how designers can respond to their ethical and legal duties to end users. We focus on how they mediate user activities through IT design and their wider responsibilities to act in an ethical manner as points for reflection. We illustrate our arguments through the emerging technological setting of smart cities. We use our concept of user centric regulation (UCR) to frame our ethical analysis of what a closer alignment of IT design and regulation could mean. Our concept asserts that human computer interaction (HCI) designers are now regulators and as designers are not traditionally involved in the practice of regulation, meaning their role is ill-defined. Designers need support in understanding what their new role entails, particularly managing ethical dimensions that go beyond law and compliance. Our conceptual analysis assists in this regard by consolidating perspectives from across Human Computer Interaction, Information Technology Law and Regulation, Computer Ethics, Philosophy of Technology, and beyond.
Keywords: smart cities; digital ethics; responsible innovation; value sensitive design; user centric regulation; technology regulation; internet of things
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