There is a long-running debate as to whether privacy is a matter of control or access. This has become more important following revelations made by Edward Snowden in 2013 regarding the collection of vast swathes of data from the Internet by signals intelligence agencies such as NSA and GCHQ. The nature of this collection is such that if the control account is correct then there has been a significant invasion of people's privacy. If, though, the access account is correct then (...) there has not been an invasion of privacy on the scale suggested by the control account. I argue that the control account of privacy is mistaken. However, the consequences of this are not that the seizing control of personal information is unproblematic. I argue that the control account, while mistaken, seems plausible for two reasons. The first is that a loss of control over my information entails harm to the rights and interests that privacy protects. The second is that a loss of control over my information increases the risk that my information will be accessed and that my privacy will be violated. Seizing control of another's information is therefore harmful, even though it may not entail a violation of privacy. Indeed, seizing control of another's information may be more harmful than actually violating their privacy. (shrink)
Mass surveillance is a more real threat now than at any time in history. Digital communications and automated systems allow for the collection and processing of private information at a scale never seen before. Many argue that mass surveillance entails a significant loss of privacy. Others dispute that there is a loss of privacy if the information is only encountered by automated systems.This paper argues that automated mass surveillance does not involve a significant loss of privacy. Through providing a definition (...) of informational privacy as a matter of actual access of private information by one who can understand the meaning of that information, it follows that automated systems which lack understanding cannot of themselves diminish privacy. This is not to say that mass surveillance is unproblematic, though - it is deeply problematic. It is just that privacy is not the most significant of these problems. (shrink)
_The Ethics of Surveillance: An Introduction_ systematically and comprehensively examines the ethical issues surrounding the concept of surveillance. Addressing important questions such as: Is it ever acceptable to spy on one's allies? To what degree should the state be able to intrude into its citizens' private lives in the name of security? Can corporate espionage ever be justified? What are the ethical issues surrounding big data? How far should a journalist go in pursuing information? Is it reasonable to expect a (...) degree of privacy in public? Is it ever justifiable for a parent to read a child’s diary? Featuring case studies throughout this textbook provides a philosophical introduction to an incredibly topical issue studied by students within the fields of applied ethics, ethics of technology, privacy, security studies, politics, journalism and human geography. (shrink)
The ethics of artificial intelligence is a widely discussed topic. There are numerous initiatives that aim to develop the principles and guidance to ensure that the development, deployment and use of AI are ethically acceptable. What is generally unclear is how organisations that make use of AI understand and address these ethical issues in practice. While there is an abundance of conceptual work on AI ethics, empirical insights are rare and often anecdotal. This paper fills the gap in our current (...) understanding of how organisations deal with AI ethics by presenting empirical findings collected using a set of ten case studies and providing an account of the cross-case analysis. The paper reviews the discussion of ethical issues of AI as well as mitigation strategies that have been proposed in the literature. Using this background, the cross-case analysis categorises the organisational responses that were observed in practice. The discussion shows that organisations are highly aware of the AI ethics debate and keen to engage with ethical issues proactively. However, they make use of only a relatively small subsection of the mitigation strategies proposed in the literature. These insights are of importance to organisations deploying or using AI, to the academic AI ethics debate, but maybe most valuable to policymakers involved in the current debate about suitable policy developments to address the ethical issues raised by AI. (shrink)
The Ethics of Surveillance: An Introduction systematically and comprehensively examines the ethical issues surrounding the concept of surveillance. Addressing important questions such as: Is it ever acceptable to spy on one's allies? To what degree should the state be able to intrude into its citizens' private lives in the name of security? Can corporate espionage ever be justified? What are the ethical issues surrounding big data? How far should a journalist go in pursuing information? Is it reasonable to expect a (...) degree of privacy in public? Is it ever justifiable for a parent to read a child’s diary? Featuring case studies throughout, this textbook provides a philosophical introduction to an incredibly topical issue studied by students within the fields of applied ethics, ethics of technology, privacy, security studies, politics, journalism and human geography. (shrink)
It is often claimed that surveillance should be proportionate, but it is rarely made clear exactly what proportionate surveillance would look like beyond an intuitive sense of an act being excessive. I argue that surveillance should indeed be proportionate and draw on Thomas Hurka’s work on proportionality in war to inform the debate on surveillance. After distinguishing between the proportionality of surveillance per se, and surveillance as a particular act, I deal with objections to using proportionality as a legitimate ethical (...) measure. From there I argue that only certain benefits and harms should be counted in any determination of proportionality. Finally I look at how context can affect the proportionality of a particular method of surveillance. In conclusion, I hold that proportionality is not only a morally relevant criterion by which to assess surveillance, but that it is a necessary criterion. Furthermore, while granting that it is difficult to assess, that difficulty should not prevent our trying to do so. (shrink)
Despite recent growth in surveillance capabilities there has been little discussion regarding the ethics of surveillance. Much of the research that has been carried out has tended to lack a coherent structure or fails to address key concerns. I argue that the just war tradition should be used as an ethical framework which is applicable to surveillance, providing the questions which should be asked of any surveillance operation. In this manner, when considering whether to employ surveillance, one should take into (...) account the reason for the surveillance, the authority of the surveillant, whether or not there has been a declaration of intent, whether surveillance is an act of last resort, what is the likelihood of success of the operation and whether surveillance is a proportionate response. Once underway, the methods of surveillance should be proportionate to the occasion and seek to target appropriate people while limiting surveillance of those deemed inappropriate. By drawing on the just war tradition, ethical questions regarding surveillance can draw on a long and considered discourse while gaining a framework which, I argue, raises all the key concerns and misses none. (shrink)
In this paper I critique the ethical implications of automating CCTV surveillance. I consider three modes of CCTV with respect to automation: manual, fully automated, and partially automated. In each of these I examine concerns posed by processing capacity, prejudice towards and profiling of surveilled subjects, and false positives and false negatives. While it might seem as if fully automated surveillance is an improvement over the manual alternative in these areas, I demonstrate that this is not necessarily the case. In (...) preference to the extremes I argue in favour of partial automation in which the system integrates a human CCTV operator with some level of automation. To assess the degree to which such a system should be automated I draw on the further issues of privacy and distance. Here I argue that the privacy of the surveilled subject can benefit from automation, while the distance between the surveilled subject and the CCTV operator introduced by automation can have both positive and negative effects. I conclude that in at least the majority of cases more automation is preferable to less within a partially automated system where this does not impinge on efficacy. (shrink)
This study investigates the ethical use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies (BD + AI)—using an empirical approach. The paper categorises the current literature and presents a multi-case study of 'on-the-ground' ethical issues that uses qualitative tools to analyse findings from ten targeted case-studies from a range of domains. The analysis coalesces identified singular ethical issues, (from the literature), into clusters to offer a comparison with the proposed classification in the literature. The results show that despite the variety (...) of different social domains, fields, and applications of AI, there is overlap and correlation between the organisations’ ethical concerns. This more detailed understanding of ethics in AI + BD is required to ensure that the multitude of suggested ways of addressing them can be targeted and succeed in mitigating the pertinent ethical issues that are often discussed in the literature. (shrink)
What's wrong with targeted advertising in political campaigns? Are echo chambers a matter of genuine concern? How does data collection impact on trust in society? As decision-making becomes increasingly automated, how can decision-makers be held to account? This collection consider potential solutions to these challenges.
. There is a moral question at the heart of this issue as to what actions are justified for a democratic government in the arena of surveillance. In particular, I want to look here at whether untargeted surveillance, such as the collecting of the Verizon call records, is justified.
Even if there is to be a general theory of ethical surveillance, though, it does not follow that the just war tradition is the best place to start. This gets to the heart of argument I make in the paper in that I believe this tradition captures all the relevant principles and misses none out. As a point of clarification, it is important to note that I am drawing on the just war tradition rather than the just war theory. While (...) the theory is, as I see it, a largely 20th century phenomenon, the tradition itself goes back much further, certainly to Augustine and arguably Cicero (Reichberg, Syse and Begby 2006). This is important as, while the theory may be tied to the state as authority (although, as I argue below, I would dispute that it is), the tradition is not (Coates 1997: 156). Tradition or theory, the key point is whether or not it is the best approach. Again, Stoddart is sceptical. He writes that the just war theory is contested and is concerned that in appealing to it we may obscure the ethical values on which it relies. Palm also refers to the contested nature of the theory but picks up on the lack of foundational values on which an ethics of surveillance, using the model I suggest, would draw as it currently stands. (shrink)