Beyond “Do No Harm” and Individual Consent: Reckoning with the Emerging Ethical Challenges of Civil Society’s Use of Data
The digital revolution is transforming how governments, the private sector, and civil society view the possibilities and perils inherent in the use of new Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). For humanitarian, human rights, and development actors, well founded anxieties are arising about the uncharted and poorly defined ethical implications of these increasingly commonplace tools and tactics. Unethical and potentially illegal “disaster experimentation” will continue to occur as long as the current gap in ethical doctrine for the use of these technologies persists. This chapter explores two critical ethical “blindspots” related to the current use of ICTs by civil society actors – the increasing critical importance of demographically identifiable information and the deployment of remote data collection strategies when individual informed consent is not possible.
KeywordsDemographically identifiable information Humanitarian innovation Human rights Data ethics Conflict Satellite data Accountability Civil society organisations
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