Presentation: Why should we care about technology ethics?

Track: Tech Ethics: The Intersection of Human Welfare & STEM

Location: St James, 4th flr.

Duration: 10:35am - 11:25am

Day of week: Wednesday

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Ethics is a rising buzzword in the technology sector. Users, developers, innovators, and the general public are increasingly concerned about the impact that technologies are having on society. Companies like Facebook and Google are facing internal and external pushback against their business and development decisions, particularly when it comes to privacy and data protection. Governments are slowly coming around to enacting policy to curb excesses of the technology industry.  How can companies and developers ensure that their technologies are beneficial to society, and socially acceptable? How can companies avoid a future of lawsuits and degradation of trust? This presentation will look at some of these issues from the perspective of the recently updated Association of Computing Machinery's Code of Ethics and Professional Practice, and place it within a "responsible innovation" framework that asks technical innovators to anticipate the impact of their technologies, reflect on the ethical issues, engage with diverse stakeholders, and act to ensure issues that arise are mitigated or avoided. 

Speaker: Catherine Flick

Reader in Computing & Social Responsibility @dmuleicester

Dr. Catherine Flick is a reader in computing and social responsibility at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at DMU. She graduated with a BSc (1st class honours) with majors in Computer Science and History & Philosophy of Science from Sydney University, Australia, while working in industry as a systems administrator and web programmer, and a PhD in Computer Ethics from Charles Sturt University, Australia, with a thesis on informed consent and ICT. Areas of research have involved responsible research and innovation in health technologies and cyber security, online child protection, trusted computing, ethics and video games, anonymous technologies and the darknet, and informed consent in ICT. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with a PGCHE. She is a member of the ACM’s Committee on Professional Ethics, and is a committee member of the ACM’s Code of Ethics update team. She is currently work package leader for the European funded projects COMPASS and Living Innovation, which look at integrating ethics and responsible innovation into SME and large company business practices, and has a long history of working on European projects in this area. In addition, she teaches research methods and computer ethics, and hosts a podcast on ethics and video games called “Not Just A Game”.

Find Catherine Flick at