The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics presents a series of brief videos on key issues in Internet ethics, as identified by Silicon Valley leaders. The participants include the co-founders of Adobe and Reputation.com, as well as the CEOs of Symantec and Seagate. Over the course of 10 weeks, a new video will be uploaded each week.
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Consumer and business data is increasingly moving to the "cloud," and people are clamoring for protection of that data. However, as Symantec's President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board Steve Bennett points out in this clip, "maximum privacy" is really anonymity, and some people use anonymity as a shield for illegal and unethical behavior. How should cloud service providers deal with this dilemma? What is their responsibility to their customers, and to society at large? How should good corporate citizens respond when they are asked to cooperate with law enforcement?
Providers of cloud services are all faced with this dilemma; as Ars Technica recently reported, for example, Verizon took action when it discovered child pornography in one of its users' accounts.
Over the following weeks, this video series will present the views of several Silicon Valley tech leaders on some of the key issues in Internet ethics today. This first entry, however, sets the context of the conversation. What does it mean to live well by means of the Internet? In what ways can the Internet help us live well, or make it more difficult to live well? In this brief video, Santa Clara University Associate Professor Shannon Vallor looks at the Internet through a philosopher's lens. Now that the Internet has become a medium through which we live a big portion of our lives, she argues that we all need to think about Internet ethics much more broadly and deeply--and that the people who devise Internet tools and services should think not only about meeting the user's immediate desires and needs, but also about doing that in a way that promotes a good life.
We invite you to sign up (via email or rss feed) to be notified as a new video clip is posted each week, and we look forward to your comments!