This paper examines workplace surveillance and monitoring. It is argued that privacy is a moral right, and while such surveillance and monitoring can be justified in some circumstances, there is a presumption against the infringement of privacy. An account of privacy precedes consideration of various arguments frequently given for the surveillance and monitoring of employees, arguments which look at the benefits, or supposed benefits, to employees as well as to employers. The paper examines the general monitoring of work, and the (...) monitoring of email, listservers and the World Wide Web. It is argued that many of the common justifications given for this surveillance and monitoring do not stand up to close scrutiny. (shrink)
This paper presents the principal findings from a three-year research project funded by the US National Science Foundation on ethics of human enhancement technologies. To help untangle this ongoing debate, we have organized the discussion as a list of questions and answers, starting with background issues and moving to specific concerns, including: freedom & autonomy, health & safety, fairness & equity, societal disruption, and human dignity. Each question-and answer pair is largely self-contained, allowing the reader to skip to those issues (...) of interest without affecting continuity. (shrink)
Symposium on Animal Disenhancement: Introduction Content Type Journal Article Category Introduction Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11569-012-0145-3 Authors John Weckert, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Canberra, ACT, Australia Journal NanoEthics Online ISSN 1871-4765 Print ISSN 1871-4757.
This paper presents the principal findings from a three-year research project funded by the US National Science Foundation on ethics of human enhancement technologies. To help untangle this ongoing debate, we have organized the discussion as a list of questions and answers, starting with background issues and moving to specific concerns, including: freedom & autonomy, health & safety, fairness & equity, societal disruption, and human dignity. Each question-and-answer pair is largely self-contained, allowing the reader to skip to those issues of (...) interest without affecting continuity. (shrink)
Changes in information technologylead to new topics and new emphases in computerethics. The present article examines a varietyof such issues, and argues that computer ethicsmust become more rigorous and develop astronger theoretical base. The articleconcludes with a discussion of ways to makecomputer ethics more effective in bringinghelpful changes to the world.
Legislation was recently introduced into theAustralian parliament to regulate the Internet. Thiscreated a storm of protest from within the computerindustry, where arguments against the legislationranged from those based on technical difficulties tothose based on moral considerations, particularly offreedom of speech and freedom to access information.This paper is primarily concerned with the moralaspects of Internet regulation, but within theparameters of current technology. It will argue thatsuch regulation can be justified, despite the factthat given the current technology there will bedifficulties with enforcement, (...) and reduction inInternet performance. (shrink)
The impact of the Internet on democracy is a widely discussed subject. Many writers view the Internet, potentially at least, as a boon to democracy and democratic practices. According to one popular theme, both e-mail and web pages give ordinary people powers of communication that have hitherto been the preserve of the relatively wealthy (Graham 1999, p. 79). So the Internet can be expected to close the influence gap between wealthy citizens and ordinary citizens, a weakness of many procedural democracies.
The implementation of Responsible Research and Innovation is not without its challenges, and one of these is raised when societal desirability is included amongst the RRI principles. We will argue that societal desirability is problematic even though it appears to fit well with the overall ideal. This discord occurs partly because the idea of societal desirability is inherently ambiguous, but more importantly because its scope is unclear. This paper asks: is societal desirability in the spirit of RRI? On von Schomberg’s (...) account, it seems clear that it is, but societal desirability can easily clash with what is ethically permissible; for example, when what is desirable in a particular society is bad for the global community. If that society chose not to do what was desirable for it, the world would be better off than if they did it. Yet our concern here is with a more complex situation, where there is a clash with ethical acceptability, but where the world would not be better off if the society chose not do what was societally desirable for itself. This is the situation where it is argued that someone else will do it if we do not. The first section of the paper gives an outline of what we take technology to be, and the second is a discussion of which criteria should be the basis for choosing research and innovation projects. This will draw on the account of technology outlined in the first section. This will be followed by an examination of a common argument, “If we don’t do it, others will”. This argument is important because it appears to justify acting in morally dubious ways. Finally, it will be argued that societal desirability gives support to the “If we don’t…” argument and that this raises some difficulties for RRI. (shrink)
Our technologies have enabled us to change both the world and our perceptions of the world, as well as to change ourselves and to find new ways to fulfil the human desire for improvement and for having new capacities. The debate around using technology for human enhancement has already raised many ethical concerns, however little research has been done in how human enhancement can affect human communication. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether some human enhancements could change (...) our shared lifeworld so radically that human communication as we know it would not be possible any longer. After exploring the kinds of communication problems we are concerned with as well as mentioning some possible enhancement interventions that could bring about such problems, we will address some of the ethical implications that follow from these potential communication problems. We argue that because of the role that communication plays in human society, this issue deserves attention. (shrink)
These comments claim that a shift has occurred between early discussions of online trust, where the focus was on the possibility of such trust and later ones, such as Ess’s, where the concern is more with the influence of the new communication technologies on trust in general. The comments, then, focus on affordance as examined by Ess, arguing that it is, indeed, a central issue in new communications and trust.
‘It is much more difficult than is often admitted to make a strong case for the ownership of computer software.’ This closely argued study of the strengths and weaknesses of the case for intellectual property rights and against software piracy is based on material contained in the author’s joint work with Douglas Adeney, Computer and Information Ethics, Greenwood Press, an imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group, INC., Westport, CT, forthcoming May, 1997. The author is a member of the School of Information (...) Studies at Charles Sturt University, PO Box 588, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650 Australia; tel 61 69 33 2372; fax 61 69 33 2733; email email@example.comHe wishes to acknowledge the contribution to this paper of Douglas Adeney of the University of Melbourne. (shrink)
Information technology is an integral part of the practices and institutions of post-industrial society. It is also a source of hard moral questions and thus is both a probing and relevant area for moral theory. In this volume, an international team of philosophers sheds light on many of the ethical issues arising from information technology, including informational privacy, digital divide and equal access, e-trust and tele-democracy. Collectively, these essays demonstrate how accounts of equality and justice, property and privacy benefit from (...) taking into account how information technology has shaped our social and epistemic practices and our moral experiences. Information technology changes the way that we look at the world and deal with one another. It calls, therefore, for a re-examination of notions such as friendship, care, commitment and trust. (shrink)