Beyond “Do No Harm” and Individual Consent: Reckoning with the Emerging Ethical Challenges of Civil Society’s Use of Data
- 1.1k Downloads
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
- Al Achkar, Z., B. Card and I. Baker. 2013. Sharing space: Adapting military approaches to geospatial analysis for humanitarian response and the documentation of human rights abuses. Retrieved from http://www.hpcrresearch.org/sites/default/files/publications/2%20Sharing%20Space_HHI_Final_a%20copy_0.pdf
- Chamales, G., and R. Baker. 2011. Securing crisis maps in conflict zones. Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), 2011, 426–430. IEEE.Google Scholar
- Code of Conduct. 2014, March 20. Standby task force. Retrieved from http://blog.standbytaskforce.com/our-model/code-of-conduct/.
- De Montjoye, Y., J. Kendall and C. Kerry. 2014. Enabling humanitarian use of mobile phone data. Series: Issues in technology innovation. The Brookings Institution. Retrieved from: http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2014/11/12-enabling-humanitarian-use-mobilephone-data.
- Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. 2012, July. Making the world a witness: Report on the pilot phase. Retrieved from http://hhi.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/publications/making-the-world-a-witness.pdf.
- ICRC. 2013. Professional standards for protection work: Carried out by humanitarian and human rights actors in armed conflict and other situations of violence. Geneva: ICRC.Google Scholar
- McDonald, S. 2016. Ebola: A big data disaster. The Centre for Internet and Society. Retrieved from http://cis-india.org/papers/ebola-a-big-data-disaster.
- Oxfam. 2015, August 27. Responsible program data policy. Retrieved from http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/oxfam-responsible-program-data-policy-575950?intcmp=RM_ResponsibleDataPolicy.
- Pantilat, S. (n.d). Beneficence vs. Nonmaleficence. Retrieved from http://missinglink.ucsf.edu/lm/ethics/ContentPages/fast_fact_bene_nonmal.htm.
- Raymond, N.A., and B. Card. 2015. Applying humanitarian principles to current uses of information communication technologies: Gaps in doctrine and challenges to practice [White Paper]. Retrieved from http://hhi.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/publications/signal_program_humanitarian_principles_white_paper.pdf
- Raymond, N., C. Howarth and J. Hutson. 2012, February 6. Crisis mapping needs an ethical compass. Retrieved from http://globalbrief.ca/blog/2012/02/06/crisis-mapping-needs-an-ethical-compass/.
- Raymond, N., B. Davies, B. Card, I. Baker, and Z. Al Achkar. 2013. While we watched: Assessing the impact of the satellite sentinel project. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 14(2): 185–191.Google Scholar
- Raymond, N.A., B. Card and Z. Al Achkar. 2015. What is ‘Humanitarian communication’?: Towards standard definitions and protections for the humanitarian use of ICTs. Retrieved from https://www.eisf.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2041-EISF-2015-What-is-humanitarian-communication.pdf.
- Rendtorff, J. 2009. Responsibility, ethics, and legitimacy of corporations. Frederiksberg: Copenhagen Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Humanitarian Accountability Partnership. 2010. The 2010 HAP Standard in Accountability and Quality Management. 2010. Retrieved from http://www.hapinternational.org/pool/files/2010-hap-standard-in-accountability.pdf.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. n.d. What is informed consent and when, why, and how must it be obtained? http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/faq/informed-consent/what-is-informed-consent.html.
- U.S. Department of Labor. n.d. Doing business with the department of labor – Guidance on the protection of personal identifiable information. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/dol/ppii.htm.
- UAViators Code and Guidelines. n.d. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Uez75_qmIVMxY35OzqMd_HPzSf-Ey43lJ_mye-kEEpQ/edit.