VIEWS: 33 PAGES: 19 POSTED ON: 7/30/2010
Ethics What is it, why is it relevant to HCI, why is it important? What is ethics? • Right and wrong • Behaviour • „absolute‟ not conditional • Professional issues Why us? • Technology changes society – Need to understand that change, put it to effective use, understand the consequences of our actions • We are often asked to do things that create ethical dilemmas • We have powerful tools at our command that we can do significant things with Why HCI people? • At the intersection of technology, individuals and society • Understand the capabilities of technologies, the needs of individuals, the needs of societies • Sometimes in conflict Examples • Boss asks us to monitor employees‟ email – Legal or illegal – Ethical or unethical • Specialist knowledge puts you into major role in consultancy company – Company asked to develop missile offence system for government – Many employees are pacifists – Take the contract, or not? Philosophical approaches to ethics • Utilitarianism – “greatest happiness of the greatest number” – Happiness = sum of pleasure – sum of pain – Simple, democratic, forward looking and consequential Problems with utilitarianism • Copying software could be argued as good as it spreads more happiness to more people – Yet most would regard it as unethical • Punishing an innocent person for a crime may be sanctioned – the deterrent effects may be more beneficial than the problems suffered by the single person And more • Hard to measure happiness and compare different happy events • No notion of duty or friendship Kantian ethics • Deontic (to do with acts) • Do your duty • The right motive is “to do the right thing”, “to do one’s duty”, “to respect the moral law.” • A rational being who consistently has the right motive has Good Will. • Nothing is more important for morality than having a good will. According to Kant, a rational being with a Good Will automatically does its duty. Kant II • Not consequentialist • Do duty regardless • E.g. Do not lie – Woman comes into your house seeking shelter from a violent partner. Partner comes in and asks if woman is there. Ethical issues to consider • Data protection/freedom of information • (Ethical) hacking • Consequences of software errors – who is responsible? Biometric identity cards • Government want to bring in biometric identity cards to cut down crime, stop identity theft, reduce the chances of terrorist attack, reduce illegal immigration and asylum seeking, cut benefit fraud, … • So a good thing Facts • £1.3 billion: cost of identity theft in UK per year • £1.6 million: credit card fraud in UK per day • £2 billion: benefit fraud • Biometrics uses human physical characteristic to identify the person – Retinal scans – Fingerprint recognition – Face recognition Problems • German magazine tested almost every biometric security device available to consumers – Bypassed them all with sellotape, talcum powder, and a photograph • 2.3%: falsely identified as terrorist on every flight using facial recognition • 10%: failure rate of biometric passports in UK and EU trials Terrorism? • Identity theft a big business, with competent computing people in it • Will get identities from dead people, emigrated ones, etc. • Privacy International: 25 countries suffering from terrorism since 1986, 80% have national i.d. cards, 33% of which have biometric data Fraud? • Only £50m of the £2b is identity- related • Presence of centralised biometric identity system will give more power to those with expertly forged cards • If we trust biometric system then a faked i.d. becomes very powerful Privacy? • Privacy issues as well – Notion is that information can be shared by government departments • Will the govt always be trustable? – And by private organisations • Ads whilst you walk Costs • £5.5 billion to set up – And of course that won‟t get larger, given it‟s a government project • £85 for biometric passport, £40 for i.d. card • Every 10 years or so • Savings to each of us: 83p/year – If works perfectly, doesn‟t take any more police time, eliminates all identity crime, doesn‟t delay us, doesn‟t go over budget Dilemma • Should we have biometric identity cards? • Should you work on them?