The Convergence of Virtual Reality and Social Networks: Threats to Privacy and Autonomy

Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (1):1-29 (2016)

Authors
Bert Gordijn
Dublin City University
Tim Jacquemard
Dublin City University
Abstract
The rapid evolution of information, communication and entertainment technologies will transform the lives of citizens and ultimately transform society. This paper focuses on ethical issues associated with the likely convergence of virtual realities and social networks, hereafter VRSNs. We examine a scenario in which a significant segment of the world’s population has a presence in a VRSN. Given the pace of technological development and the popularity of these new forms of social interaction, this scenario is plausible. However, it brings with it ethical problems. Two central ethical issues are addressed: those of privacy and those of autonomy. VRSNs pose threats to both privacy and autonomy. The threats to privacy can be broadly categorized as threats to informational privacy, threats to physical privacy, and threats to associational privacy. Each of these threats is further subdivided. The threats to autonomy can be broadly categorized as threats to freedom, to knowledge and to authenticity. Again, these three threats are divided into subcategories. Having categorized the main threats posed by VRSNs, a number of recommendations are provided so that policy-makers, developers, and users can make the best possible use of VRSNs
Keywords Social networks  Virtual reality  Ethics  Privacy  Autonomy  Freedom
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-014-9621-1
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References found in this work BETA

On Human Rights.James Griffin - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA

Societal and Ethical Issues of Digitization.Lambèr Royakkers, Jelte Timmer, Linda Kool & Rinie van Est - 2018 - Ethics and Information Technology 20 (2):127-142.

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