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Summary Over the past decades the ubiquitous use of information technologies and the growth of the Internet contributed to exposing the importance of the ethical dimensions of information. Information ethics addresses the question as to whether information has or should have a moral value. Specifically, the main problem that information ethics addresses is how one should behave when information is collected, shared, produced or destroyed. Information ethics poses questions of normative ethics and metaethics: the issues are about how one should behave (normative ethics) and how right and wrong should be defined when information and its dynamics are considered (metaethics). The scope of such questions is quite wide and as such information ethics ranges over multiple domains and is part of several branches of applied ethics - computer ethics, medical ethics, business ethics and librarian ethics, to name a few.
Key works Conceptual foundations of information ethics as an ethical framework have been provided in Floridi 2013. A collection of essays on issues concerning information and computer ethics can be found in Himma & Tavani 2008 and Floridi 2010. An analysis of information ethics developed following a continental approach has been provided in Capurro 2006. The following are ethical analyses focusing on the moral value of information to address issues such as privacy (Floridi 2006) (Tavani 2008), online trust (Turilli et al 2012), information transparency (Turilli & Floridi 2009), internet neutrality (Turilli et al 2010) and cyber warfare (Taddeo forthcoming).
Introductions Buchanan 1999, Floridi 1999, Floridi 2006
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  1. Mark Alfino, The Information Ethics of Polite Culture.
    Ethicists don't discuss etiquette very much, in part because it has always seemed too close to the surface of social interaction and too ephemeral or conventional for theory. But I suspect that most people, even philosophers, would agree that social etiquette often reinforces and complements our ethical intuitions. For example, in social etiquette we draw a line between reasonable and normal questions to ask others and questions which pry, invade privacy, or otherwise embarrass them. A natural justification of this practice (...)
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  2. Mark Alfino (2012). Twenty Years of Information Ethics and the Journal of Information Ethics. Journal of Information Ethics 21 (2):13-16.
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  3. Patrick Allo (2010). Putting Information First: Luciano Floridi and the Philosophy of Information. Metaphilosophy 41 (3):247-254.
    Abstract: The core aim of this special issue is to present the philosophy of information as a way of doing philosophy, to focus on the contributions of Luciano Floridi to that area, and most important, to stimulate the debate on the most distinctive and controversial views he has defended in that context. This introduction contains a description of the philosophy of information, a discussion of two common misconceptions about the scope and the ambition of the philosophy of information, and a (...)
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  4. Judy Anderson (2012). Intellectual Property, Fee or Free? Journal of Information Ethics 21 (2):114-121.
  5. Judy Anderson (2007). Introduction. Journal of Information Ethics 16 (1):13-15.
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  6. Clément Arsenault, Élaine Ménard & John E. Leide (2008). Tensions in Cataloging: Observations on Standards and Implementation. Journal of Information Ethics 17 (1):28-42.
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  7. Web Censoring Widens Across Southeast Asia (forthcoming). The Battle of Samoa Revisited. Journal of Information Ethics.
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  8. Atoma Batoma (2008). Information Professionals at the Crossroads of the Enlightenment: A Critical Review of the Pernkopf Controversy. Journal of Information Ethics 17 (2):23-34.
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  9. Clare Beghtol (2008). Professional Values and Ethics in Knowledge Organization and Cataloging. Journal of Information Ethics 17 (1):12-19.
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  10. Sara Behrman (2007). Truth as a Value in the Grants Process. Journal of Information Ethics 16 (1):16-27.
  11. David Benfield (2007). Mattlage on Copyright Relinquishment. Journal of Information Ethics 16 (2):31-33.
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  12. Brian Bergen-Aurand (2010). The Skin of the Other. Journal of Information Ethics 19 (2):100-113.
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  13. Louise Bezuidenhout (2013). Data Sharing and Dual-Use Issues. Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (1):83-92.
    The concept of dual-use encapsulates the potential for well-intentioned, beneficial scientific research to also be misused by a third party for malicious ends. The concept of dual-use challenges scientists to look beyond the immediate outcomes of their research and to develop an awareness of possible future (mis)uses of scientific research. Since 2001 much attention has been paid to the possible need to regulate the dual-use potential of the life sciences. Regulation initiatives fall under two broad categories—those that develop the ethical (...)
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  14. Elizabeth Buchanan (2004). Ethics in Library and Information Science. What Are We Teaching? Journal of Information Ethics 13 (1):51-60.
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  15. Elizabeth Buchanan (2004). Introduction. Journal of Information Ethics 13 (2):5-7.
  16. Elizabeth A. Buchanan (2011). Looking Back, Looking Forward, and Transformation in Information Ethics. Journal of Information Ethics 20 (2):157-160.
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  17. Elizabeth A. Buchanan (1999). An Overview of Information Ethics Issues in a World-Wide Context. Ethics and Information Technology 1 (3):193-201.
    This article presents an overview of significant issues facing contemporary information professionals. As the world of information continues to grow at unprecedented speed and in unprecedented volume, questions must be faced by information professionals. Will we participate in the worldwide mythology of equal access for all, or will we truly work towards this debatable goal? Will we accept the narrowing of choice for our corresponding increasing diverse clientele? Such questions must be considered in a holistic context and an understanding of (...)
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  18. John Budd (2008). Self-Examination: The Present and Future of Librarianship. Libraries Unlimited.
    Genealogy of the profession -- Place and identity -- Being informed about informing -- What's the right thing to do? -- In a democracy -- The information society -- Optimistic synthesis.
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  19. Dan L. Burk (2008). Information Ethics and the Law of Data Representations. Ethics and Information Technology 10 (2-3):135-147.
    The theories of information ethics articulated by Luciano Floridi and his collaborators have clear implications for law. Information law, including the law of privacy and of intellectual property, is especially likely to benefit from a coherent and comprehensive theory of information ethics. This article illustrates how information ethics might apply to legal doctrine, by examining legal questions related to the ownership and control of the personal data representations, including photographs, game avatars, and consumer profiles, that have become ubiquitous with the (...)
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  20. Terrell Ward Bynum & Simon Rogerson (1996). Introduction and Overview: Global Information Ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics 2 (2):131-136.
    This is an introduction to a set of papers on Computer Ethics from the conference ETHICOMP95. Taken as a whole, the collection of papers provides arguments and concepts to launch a new development in computer ethics: ‘Global Information Ethics’. A rationale for globalization is provided, as well as some early efforts which move in that direction.
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  21. Michael Byron (2010). Floridi’s Fourth Revolution and the Demise of Ethics. Knowledge, Technology and Policy 23 (1-2):135-147.
    Luciano Floridi has proposed that we are on the cusp of a fourth revolution in human self-understanding. The information revolution with its prospect of digitally enhancing human beings opens the door to engineering human nature. Floridi has emphasized the importance of making this transition as ethically smooth as possible. He is quite right to worry about ethics after the fourth revolution. The coming revolution, if it unfolds as he envisions, spells the demise of traditional ethical theorizing.
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  22. Braden Cannon (2013). The Canadian Disease. Journal of Information Ethics 22 (2):66-89.
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  23. Rafael Capurro (2008). Intercultural Information Ethics. In Elizabeth A. Buchanan (ed.), Case Studies in Library and Information Science Ethics. Mcfarland & Co.. 10.
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  24. Rafael Capurro (2006). Towards an Ontological Foundation of Information Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology 8 (4):175-186.
    The paper presents, firstly, a brief review of the long history\nof information ethics beginning with the Greek concept of parrhesia\nor freedom of speech as analyzed by Michel Foucault. The recent concept\nof information ethics is related particularly to problems which arose\nin the last century with the development of computer technology and\nthe internet. A broader concept of information ethics as dealing\nwith the digital reconstruction of all possible phenomena leads to\nquestions relating to digital ontology. Following Heidegger{\textquoteright}s\nconception of the relation between ontology and metaphysics, (...)
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  25. Bernd Carsten Stahl (2004). Information, Ethics, and Computers: The Problem of Autonomous Moral Agents. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 14 (1):67-83.
    In modern technical societies computers interact with human beings in ways that can affect moral rights and obligations. This has given rise to the question whether computers can act as autonomous moral agents. The answer to this question depends on many explicit and implicit definitions that touch on different philosophical areas such as anthropology and metaphysics. The approach chosen in this paper centres on the concept of information. Information is a multi-facetted notion which is hard to define comprehensively. However, the (...)
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  26. Christina Ling-Hsing Chang (2011). The Significance of a Suitable Information Ethical Code. Journal of Information Ethics 20 (1):54-85.
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  27. Elia Chepaitis (1997). Information Ethics Across Information Cultures. Business Ethics 6 (4):195–200.
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  28. Wen-Jiuh Chiang, Chihchia Chen, ChiaChien Teng & Jiangjun Gu (2008). A Comparative Study on the Information Ethics of Junior High School Students Cognition and Behavior Between Taiwan and China: Kaohsiung and Nanjing Regions Used as Examples. Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (1):121-138.
    A great deal of progress has been made on information ethics. Which portion is not sufficient? That might be the comparison from countries to countries. The purpose of this study was closely examined using the cross-cultural method for comparison. To determine the ethics cognitions and behaviors of the students, a comprehensive survey was distributed. The questionnaire for the study used Mason’s four essential factors in information ethics that included Privacy, Accuracy, Property and Accessibility (PAPA). The samples were comprised of Kaohsiung (...)
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  29. Flavio Soares Correa da Silva (2010). On the Ethics of Democratic Access to Web Information. Knowledge, Technology and Policy 23 (1-2):97-107.
    Floridi’s work, although diverse and multifaceted, portrays a solid coherence across his different lines of work. Among his wealth of interests and results, we highlight his recent work on information logics, on the ethics of information technology, and his rigorous (and vigorous) philosophical analysis of recent technological trends and developments in information technology. In the present article we illustrate, by means of some connecting arguments, the diversity and coherence of Floridi’s work. We also show how his work, although fundamentally philosophical (...)
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  30. Gordana Dodig Crnkovic & Susan Stuart (eds.) (2007). Computation, Information, Cognition: The Nexus and the Liminal. Cambridge Scholars Press.
    Written by world-leading experts, this book draws together a number of important strands in contemporary approaches to the philosophical and scientific questions that emerge when dealing with the issues of computing, information, cognition and the conceptual issues that arise at their intersections. It discovers and develops the connections at the borders and in the interstices of disciplines and debates. This volume presents a range of essays that deal with the currently vigorous concerns of the philosophy of information, ontology creation and (...)
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  31. Charles Ess (2008). Luciano Floridi's Philosophy of Information and Information Ethics: Critical Reflections and the State of the Art. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 10 (2-3):89-96.
    I describe the emergence of Floridi’s philosophy of information (PI) and information ethics (IE) against the larger backdrop of Information and Computer Ethics (ICE). Among their many strengths, PI and IE offer promising metaphysical and ethical frameworks for a global ICE that holds together globally shared norms with the irreducible differences that define local cultural and ethical traditions. I then review the major defenses and critiques of PI and IE offered by contributors to this special issue, and highlight Floridi’s responses (...)
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  32. Charles Ess (2006). Ethical Pluralism and Global Information Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology 8 (4):215-226.
    A global information ethics that seeks to avoid imperialistic homogenization must conjoin shared norms while simultaneously preserving the irreducible differences between cultures and peoples. I argue that a global information ethics may fulfill these requirements by taking up an ethical pluralism – specifically Aristotle’s pros hen [“towards one”] or “focal” equivocals. These ethical pluralisms figure centrally in both classical and contemporary Western ethics: they further offer important connections with the major Eastern ethical tradition of Confucian thought. Both traditions understand ethical (...)
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  33. Charles Ess (2005). “Lost in translation”?: Intercultural dialogues on privacy and information ethics (introduction to special issue on privacy and data privacy protection in asia). [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 7 (1):1-6.
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  34. Charles Ess & May Thorseth (2008). Kant and Information Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology 10 (4):205-211.
    We begin with our reasons for seeking to bring Kant to bear on contemporary information and computing ethics (ICE). We highlight what each contributor to this special issue draws from Kant and then applies to contemporary matters in ICE. We conclude with a summary of what these chapters individually and collectively tell us about Kant’s continuing relevance to these contemporary matters – specifically, with regard to the issues of building trust online and regulating the Internet; how far discourse contributing to (...)
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  35. Charles Ess & May Thorseth (2006). Neither Relativism nor Imperialism: Theories and Practices for a Global Information Ethics. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 8 (3):91-95.
    We highlight the important lessons our contributors present in our collective project of fostering dialogues both between applied ethics and computer science and between cultures. These include: critical reflexivity; procedural (partly Habermasian) approaches to establishing such central norms as “emancipation”; the importance of local actors in using ICTs both for global management and in development projects – especially as these contribute the trust essential for the social context of use of new technologies; and pluralistic approaches that preserve local cultural differences (...)
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  36. Don Fallis (2004). Epistemic Value Theory and Information Ethics. Minds and Machines 14 (1):101-117.
    Three of the major issues in information ethics – intellectual property, speech regulation, and privacy – concern the morality of restricting people’s access to certain information. Consequently, policies in these areas have a significant impact on the amount and types of knowledge that people acquire. As a result, epistemic considerations are critical to the ethics of information policy decisions (cf. Mill, 1978 [1859]). The fact that information ethics is a part of the philosophy of information highlights this important connection with (...)
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  37. Luciano Floridi (2013). The Ethics of Information. OUP.
    'Computer—Mediated Colonization, the Renaissance, and Educational Impera— tives for an Intercultural Global Village', Ethics and Information Technology, 4(1), 11—22. Ess, C. (2006). 'Ethical Pluralism and Global Information Ethics', Ethics ...
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  38. Luciano Floridi (2010). The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. CUP.
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  39. Luciano Floridi (2007). Computers : Information Ethics and the Foundation of Computer Ethics. In Jesper Ryberg, Thomas S. Petersen & Clark Wolf (eds.), New Waves in Applied Ethics. Palgrave Macmillan.
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  40. Luciano Floridi (2006). Information Ethics, its Nature and Scope. Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 36 (2):21-36.
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  41. Luciano Floridi (2005). The Ontological Interpretation of Informational Privacy. Ethics and Information Technology 7 (4):185-200.
    The paper outlines a new interpretation of informational privacy and of its moral value. The main theses defended are: (a) informational privacy is a function of the ontological friction in the infosphere, that is, of the forces that oppose the information flow within the space of information; (b) digital ICTs (information and communication technologies) affect the ontological friction by changing the nature of the infosphere (re-ontologization); (c) digital ICTs can therefore both decrease and protect informational privacy but, most importantly, they (...)
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  42. Luciano Floridi (1999). Information Ethics: On the Philosophical Foundation of Computer Ethics. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 1 (1):33-52.
    The essential difficulty about Computer Ethics' (CE) philosophical status is a methodological problem: standard ethical theories cannot easily be adapted to deal with CE-problems, which appear to strain their conceptual resources, and CE requires a conceptual foundation as an ethical theory. Information Ethics (IE), the philosophical foundational counterpart of CE, can be seen as a particular case of environmental ethics or ethics of the infosphere. What is good for an information entity and the infosphere in general? This is the ethical (...)
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  43. Luciano Floridi & Julian Savulescu (2006). Information Ethics: Agents, Artefacts and New Cultural Perspectives. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 8 (4):155-156.
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  44. Joseph S. Fulda (2009). Information Ethics: Privacy, Property, and Power, Adam D. Moore (Ed.). [REVIEW] Journal of Information Ethics 18 (1):94-103.
    Largely favorable review, with only one significant criticism. Note that the URL points to /all/ reviews in the issue.
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  45. A. Gatherer (1996). Health Information Ethics. Journal of Medical Ethics 22 (6):365-366.
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  46. Richard Heersmink, Jeroen van den Hoven, Nees Jan van Eck & Jan van den Berg (2011). Bibliometric Mapping of Computer and Information Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology 13 (3):241-249.
    This paper presents the first bibliometric mapping analysis of the field of computer and information ethics (C&IE). It provides a map of the relations between 400 key terms in the field. This term map can be used to get an overview of concepts and topics in the field and to identify relations between information and communication technology concepts on the one hand and ethical concepts on the other hand. To produce the term map, a data set of over thousand articles (...)
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  47. K. E. Himma & H. T. Tavani (2008). The Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. Wiley.
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  48. Wolfgang Hofkirchner (2010). How to Design the Infosphere: The Fourth Revolution, the Management of the Life Cycle of Information, and Information Ethics as a Macroethics. [REVIEW] Knowledge, Technology and Policy 23 (1-2):177-192.
    The paper reconstructs the read thread that links the information revolution, the information concept and information ethics in Floridi’s philosophy of information. In doing so, it acknowledges the grand attempt but doubts whether this attempt is up to the state of affairs concerning the actual point human history has reached. It contends that the information age is rather conceivable as a critical stage in which human evolution as a whole is at stake. The mastering of this crisis depends on an (...)
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  49. Soraj Hongladarom (2008). Floridi and Spinoza on Global Information Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology 10 (2-3):175-187.
    Floridi’s ontocentric ethics is compared with Spinoza’s ethical and metaphysical system as found in the Ethics. Floridi’s is a naturalistic ethics where he argues that an action is right or wrong primarily because the action does decrease the ‹entropy’ of the infosphere or not. An action that decreases the amount entropy of the infosphere is a good one, and one that increases it is a bad one. For Floridi, ‹entropy’ refers to destruction or loss of diversity of the infosphere, or (...)
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  50. Soraj Hongladarom (2004). Making Information Transparent as a Means to Close the Global Digital Divide. Minds and Machines 14 (1):85-99.
    This paper argues that information should be made transparent as a means to close the global digital divide problem. The usual conception of the digital divide as a bifurcation between the information rich and poor in fact does a poor job at describing the reality of the situation, which is characterized by multiple dimensions of digital divides in many contexts. Taking the lead from Albert Borgmann, it is recognized that the so-called information poor do possess a rich resource of information (...)
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