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Engaging with ethics in Internet of Things: Imaginaries in the social milieu of technology developers

Ustek-Spilda, F; Powell, A; Nemorin, S; (2019) Engaging with ethics in Internet of Things: Imaginaries in the social milieu of technology developers. Big Data & Society , 6 (2) pp. 1-12. 10.1177/2053951719879468. Green open access

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Abstract

Discussions about ethics of Big Data often focus on the ethics of data processing: collecting, storing, handling, analysing and sharing data. Data-based systems, however, do not come from nowhere. They are designed and brought into being within social spaces – or social milieu. This paper connects philosophical considerations of individual and collective capacity to enact practical reason to the influence of social spaces. Building a deeper engagement with the social imaginaries of technology development through analysis of two years of fieldwork with start-ups working on Internet of Things, this paper suggests that different action positions can emerge, with consequences for how data is understood and valued. The Disengaged, Pragmatist and Idealist ethical action positions identified in the paper reveal the ways individuals and groups negotiate possibilities for ethical action, through justifications, explanations and structuring of system features.

Type: Article
Title: Engaging with ethics in Internet of Things: Imaginaries in the social milieu of technology developers
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/2053951719879468
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/2053951719879468
Language: English
Additional information: Creative Commons CC-BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Internet of Things, social milieu, ethics, virtue ethics, responsible technology
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10083149
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