[CITASA] Seeking Case Studies on Data Ethics

danah boyd danah-asa at danah.org
Tue Sep 29 09:50:48 EDT 2015

The Council for Big Data, Ethics, and Society is seeking researchers, practitioners, and educators to provide case studies based on real-world examples that examine complex issues of data ethics. Submissions will be distributed via the Council’s website in addition to Data & Society and the National Online Ethics Center. Case study authors will be given an honorarium of $250 per case study and may be invited for further participation in our growing network of data ethics researchers, educators, and practitioners.
A case study should describe a real-world situation in which an ethical conundrum arose, and how responding to that situation introduced conflicting ethical duties, responsibilities, or principles. Situations used for case studies may involve data collection, publishing, aggregation, or analytics and illustrate topics such as privacy/de-identification, accuracy and quality control, cultural representation, oversight and accountability, or social outcomes of research. Examples from industry, government, and academia are welcome.
Completed case studies will become part of a collection of pedagogical resources for instructors covering data ethics in various fields, and will be used to generate discussion through live and/or online discussion forums of part of ongoing work by the Council. The case studies may be distributed via the Council, Data & Society, and the National Online Ethics Center (hosted by the National Academies of Engineering). Authors are also welcome to submit their case studies for publication.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
Whether researchers should use data mining tools that correlate data across many public databases and risk revealing sensitive information about human subjects;
What to do when publicly available anonymous data can be reidentified;
How to use scientific data that is viewed differently in different cultural contexts;
When journals and conferences might reject submissions for ethical lapses;
Tensions between the degrees of freedom afforded to academic researchers vs. commercial researchers/practitioners
etc. etc.
An example case study "No Encore for Encore?" by Arvind Narayanan and Bendert Zevenbergen explores a web-based censorship measurement tool that asks hard questions about the boundaries of technical interventions for social good.

For detailed instructions and topical ideas, see: http://bdes.datasociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/BDES-Council-Call-for-Case-Studies.pdf  Feel free to contact us with questions at bdes at datasociety.net.

We look forward to hearing from you!

danah boyd, Geof Bowker, Kate Crawford, Helen Nissenbaum, and the BDES Council

PS: If you are interested in what the Council is doing, join our Network!  Here's how: http://bdes.datasociety.net/2015/09/network-expansion/
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