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Researching Responsible Innovation in ICT


Almost 30 million people in the UK are signed up for Facebook for example, and routinely share information about themselves online via the site. Add to this the quantity of data stored in email accounts, on online stores and in other websites and it becomes apparent that our ‘digital footprints’ contain a vast amount of information about us, our personal affairs and how we live our lives. This quantity of information is increasingly creating complex issues and questions surrounding the range of information stored, how it is kept and who has access to it. With legal frameworks struggling to keep up with the pace of new technologies and the mapping to our ethical values unclear, it becomes vital to understand the impact of how all this data is used.

To investigate and identify such issues a new project has been instigated by researchers at the Oxford University’s e-­ÔÇÉResearch Centre and the Centre for Computing & Social Responsibility (CCSR) at De Montfort University. Their research will aim to raise awareness and foster debate on these concerns, while working to provide guidance on how organisations can best manage the ethical dilemmas that come with changes that novel technologies and innovation may surface.

Dr Marina Jirotka, Reader in Requirements Engineering at the University of Oxford explains: “The project aims to have broad impact across the whole of the ICT community, encompassing research, development and product management and support. This research will provide the first comprehensive summary of the current position regarding ethical challenges and their resolution within the ICT community.”

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