Societal and ethical issues of digitization

Lambèr Royakkers, Jelte Timmer, Linda Kool, Rinie van Est

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
307 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this paper we discuss the social and ethical issues that arise as a result of digitization based on six dominant technologies: Internet of Things, robotics, biometrics, persuasive technology, virtual & augmented reality, and digital platforms. We highlight the many developments in the digitizing society that appear to be at odds with six recurring themes revealing from our analysis of the scientific literature on the dominant technologies: privacy, autonomy, security, human dignity, justice, and balance of power. This study shows that the new wave of digitization is putting pressure on these public values. In order to effectively shape the digital society in a socially and ethically responsible way, stakeholders need to have a clear understanding of what such issues might be. Supervision has been developed the most in the areas of privacy and data protection. For other ethical issues concerning digitization such as discrimination, autonomy, human dignity and unequal balance of power, the supervision is not as well organized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
JournalEthics and Information Technology
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Digitization
  • Ethics
  • ICT
  • Public values
  • Technology

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