Digital Ethics and Data Privacy
November 30, 2020 — 0:00

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The label “Digital Ethics” has emerged recently as a rubric to bring together ethical concerns arising from AI and big data.  These include ethical issues that have been with us for quite some time, for example, information privacy. New issues have gained centrality. These include:

  • Magnified privacy concerns: AI extends our already significant privacy concerns because it offers the power to learn much more about us from what data reveals on its surface.
  • Fairness in decision making: Machine learning algorithms have shown racial and gender bias in decision making in areas such as employment, housing, etc.
  • Due process – Perhaps a subcategory of fairness, due process questions arise in the areas related to criminal justice with for example predictive policing.
  • Risk and responsibility – AI raises new questions about accountability for harms caused by computer systems. How is responsibility located when bad things are caused by autonomous agents such as self-driving cars or drone? Transparency in decision making and operations is part of the concern and the motivation behind explainable AI.
  • Public good – The idea that AI has great potential to advance the public good; NGOs, the UN, big tech companies such as Microsoft are exploring how AI enhances public safety and health.  There is a worry that the misuse of AI technologies will inhibit the potentially beneficial uses. Ethical data management is an enabler of positive contributions. So, data ethics is about balancing harms and risks

Digital ethics is a topic of increasing commentary and publication. This page will track new developments and post commentary on the topic in the coming months.

Selected Writings

AI, Records, and Accountability in ARMA’s Information Management Magazine.

ECM and Privacy by Design in ARMA’s Information Management Magazine.

Keys for Securing Private Information in an EDMS  in ARMA’s Information Management Magazine (March/April 2008).

Brief: Digital Ethics and Other Labels-Mooradian

Book Note-Privacy in Context-Mooradian 


AIIM Presentation: Digital Ethics and ECM: A Design Perspective

AIIM Presentation: VIP Lounge: Ethics in Records and Information Management