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Research Tracks 2008


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16. Researching Ethics in IS


Track Chairs:


Bernd Carsten Stahl, De Montfort University, UK ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Antony Bryant, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )


Track Description:


The impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the past 50 years has been significant, and continues to gather pace. The consequences extend across society, into organisational, collective and private aspects of our existence. These have ramifications of an ethical nature; values and objectives are bound up with the ways in which ICTs can and might be used. Do these technologies lend themselves to liberation and emancipation, fostering learning, education and inclusion; or are they, perhaps inevitably, bound up with forces that will disempower individuals and groups, strengthening traditional relationships of dominance and hegemony, as well as having undesirable and potentially catastrophic social and environmental impacts. This context necessarily involves the IS community in a consideration of and engagement with ethical issues. Within the EU this problem has lately been recognised and as a consequence there is increased emphasis on ethical questions in ICT research in the 7 th Framework Programme.

Ethical issues in IS can arise at least in two different ways: Firstly, there are ethical issues that develop from the process of doing research, such as surveying, interviewing or gathering requirements. These are human research ethics issues that are well recognised in medical disciplines but that IS researchers often find difficult to address. Secondly, there are ethical issues that arise from the use of IS. Technologies often have unforeseen consequences but even the intended ones often develop ethical implications that were not envisaged.


The "Ethical Issues in IS" track aims to highlight these issues, by bringing different communities of researchers together with the aim of furthering our understanding of how continuing and renewed concern with ethical issues against the background of rigour and relevance does and should impact upon IS research. This track will pave the way for the general theme of the International Conference of Information Systems which will be held in Paris in December 2008. The theme will be "Ethics, design and consequences of Information technologies".


Suggested topics:


- privacy, security and surveillance,
- software and intellectual property rights
- IT and employment
- computer crime and legislation
- internet governance
- the digital divide and social justice
- trust in computing or trusting computing
- social responsibility and codes of conduct for ICT professionals
- political and social implications of search engine
- hacking and social engineering
- information technology and environmental issues
- ethics of autonomous agents
- ethics, agency, and structure
- the embodiment of values in IS design
- systems restrictiveness and conformity


Associate Editors:


- Nancy Pouloudi, Athens University of Economics & Business, Athens, Greece

- Marie Griffiths, University of Salford, UK
- Frank Land, London School of Economics, UK
- Frantz Rowe, Université de Nantes, France, and Bentley College, USA

- Mary Culnan, Bentley College, USA