Note — Aug 26, 2018

Data’s Day of Reckoning with Ethics

So far I’ve mostly included articles around ethics when the author was either someone studying ethics and critiquing mishaps, or reporting of horrible results. This one by Mike Loukides, Hilary Mason, and DJ Patil is more “from the inside” of developer circles and does a good job of making a parallel with security and how both are insufficiently present in education. They also include a good checklist companies can use, and various cultural and policy changes that could bolster the inclusion of ethical reflexions and enforcement measures in industry.

It’s data’s day of reckoning. The shape of the future will depend a lot on what we do in the next few years. We need to incorporate ethics into all aspects of technical education and corporate culture; we need to give people the freedom to stop production if necessary, and to escalate concerns if they’re not addressed; we need to incorporate diversity and ethics into hiring decisions; and we may need to consider regulation to protect the interests of individual users, and society as a whole.