Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Articles

The Internet

The Right to Be Forgotten or the Right to Edit
A ruling by the European Court of Justice sparks an international discussion of whether people have the right to eliminate items about themselves from search engine results.
Irina Raicu
Hashtag Activism: The Ethics of Online Campaigns
Video interview about #BringBackOurGirls and #YesAllWomen and what these campaigns bode for political activism
Irina Raicu and Miriam Schulman
Hashtag Activism and the Power of Attention: An Ethics Case Study
Hashtag activism focuses attention on emerging problems. Is that always a good thing?
Irina Raicu
Responsible Innovation in the Age of Big Data
Confessions of a "recovering" data broker
James Adler
Big Data; Small Politics
A discussion of algorithmic regulation and its pitfalls
Evgeny Morozov
What Rights are Kickstarter Backers Entitled?
Are Kickstarter backers entitled to anything for their contributions?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Can a CEO Hold Conflicting Values with Company?
Mozilla CEO under fire for Prop 8 contributions.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
To Read--or Not To Read--the Comments
Despite the vitriol prevalent in Internet comments, should readers view and help to moderate them?
Irina Raicu
Are App Developers on the Hook?
The app market allows just about anyone to publish their software for download by the masses. Do these developers have the same obligations to their users as traditional businesses?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Hacker Attack or Public Service
A "white hat" hacker group discovered a security flaw in Snapchat's infrastructure, and to ensure action was taken, published how to exploit it on an internet blog. Hacker attack or public service?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
How Much Control Do You Have Over Your Online Identity?
Is there some types of public information that should not be publicized or monetized? A "mugshot photo" website forces the issue.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Should Companies Admit They've Been Hacked?
What public relations policy should companies adopt when dealing with a cyber security breach?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Ethics for App Makers
Video of a talk by SCU Philosophy Professor Shannon Vallor at Renaissance 2014
Shannon Vallor
The Ethics of Online Price Discrimination
Panel Discussion on differential pricing
Kirthi Kalyanam, Eric Goldman, Ashkan Soltani
Make Hay
Ethical questions Americans should ask themselves about balancing privacy and security
Irina Raicu
Clicking Through to the Ethics of Social Media Terms of Service: Three Case Studies
Social media users may not understand the terms they agree to when they hit the "Agree" button.
Irina Raicu
An Introduction to Software Engineering Ethics
A stand-alone "plug and play" ethics module for software engineering courses including a reading, assignments, case studies, and exercises.
Shannon Vallor with special contribution by Arvind
Surreptitious Surveillance on the Internet
A cyber-security expert is asked to help the Saudi government with intercepting communications.
Irina Raicu
The Internet of Things
The ethical implications of the rise of "The Internet of Things," the "Sensor Revolution," or "The Programmable World"
Owen Tripp
The New Digital Divide
In this brief video, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and innovator Kim Polese addresses the new digital divide--between those who have high-speed wired broadband access to the Internet in their homes, and those who don't.
Kim Polese
Facebook's Mobile Home Ignores Context
The ubiquity of Facebook's "home" feature may draw attention to itself when it's most disruptive and least appropriate
Irina Raicu
Cyber Security and the Obligations of Companies
Ken Baylor, an expert on IT security and regulatory compliance, addresses the reality of cyber security in 2013.
Margaret Steen
Privacy and Innovation
Travis LeBlanc, special assistant attorney general of California, and Irina Raicu, Internet Ethics Program Manager at the Ethics Center discuss whether privacy concerns must stifle innovation.
Margaret Steen
Mobile Technology and Social Media - Ethical Implications
In emerging markets in particular, mobile devices and social media have become ?life tools??used for telemedicine, banking, education, communication, and more. These developments give rise to new ethical challenges.
Radha Basu
The Ethical Dilemma of BYOD
As people increasingly bring their own (mostly mobile) devices into the workplace, and use them for both personal and professional activities, new challenges arise--for the employees as well as their employers. Pat Gelsinger, the CEO of VMware, discusses some of the implications of BYOD for data security and personal privacy.
Pat Gelsiger
The Disconnect: Accountability and Consequences Online
A discussion of the breakdown among responsibility, accountability, and consequences in the online world, as demonstrated by some digital media coverage.
Stephen Luczo
Internet Access Is a Privilege
What would our lives be like if we no longer had access to the Internet? How much good would we lose? How much harm would we be spared? In this brief video, one of Apple's co-founders argues that Internet use is a privilege and considers ways to minimize some of the harms associated with it, while fully appreciating its benefits.
A. C. "Mike" Markkula Jr.
Protecting Privacy and Society
Consumer and business data is increasingly moving to the "cloud," and people are clamoring for protection of that data. However, "maximum privacy" is really anonymity, and some people use it as a shield for illegal and unethical behavior. How should cloud service providers deal with this dilemma?
Steve Bennett
The Need for Accuracy Online
There's a gap between what Internet users expect to receive (i.e. factual and accurate information) and what they too often get instead. Is it the user's responsibility to judge which sources to access on the Web? Do the publishers have a duty to strive to be accurate?
Charles "Chuck" Geschke
Privacy Tradeoffs Online
NetApp's Executive Chairman Dan Warmenhoven discusses the development of GPS-tracking technology and the ethical issues associated with the aggregation of GPS data into large databases.
Dan Warmenhoven
The Right to Be Forgotten co-founder Own Tripp discusses the long life of information online and its repercussions. Response by Evan Selinger, associate professor of philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology.
Owen Tripp
On Designing a More Ethical Internet
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 Assistant Professor Shannon Vallor looks at the Internet through a philosopher's lens.
Shannon Vallor
Instagram and the Ethics of Privacy
Is it wrong for an Internet company to share users' information with third-parties and advertisers?
Alexis Babb and Amanda Nelson
Privacy by Design: An Engineering Ethics Perspective
Video of a panel discussion one "baking privacy into" products
Ben Adida,Brian Kennish,Arvind Narayanan,Irina Rai
Internet Ethics
Resources from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics on privacy, hacking, videogaming, databases, etc. Keywords: internet, ethics, privacy, hacking, databases, videogames
Your Privacy Online
Teaching module on Internet privacy
Irina Raicu
Loss of Online Privacy: What's the Harm?
Loss of Online Privacy: What's the Harm?
Irina Raicu
Privacy Protection: A Quiz
How much do you know about privacy? Try this quiz.
Berkeley Center for Law and Technology
Girls Around Me
Case study on Internet Privacy
Irina Raicu
Information About You = $
How Internet companies provide personal data to advertisers
Irina Raicu
How To Protect Your Online Privacy
Tips and links
Irina Raicu
Ethics of Online Privacy
Balancing benefits and harms of Internet privacy
Irina Raicu
Information Privacy: A Case Study and Commentary
A proposal for a National AIDS registry raises concerns about privacy
Michael McFarland, S.J.
Social Networks and the Death of Privacy (video)
Talk by the author of "I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did
Lori Andrews
Unavoidable Ethical Questions About Hacking
Justice, common good, utilitarian, rights, and virtue approaches to hacking hacking, ethics
Irina Raicu
Present and Future of Social Networking
A panel exploring the ethical and social implications of social networking technology.
John Squires, Kaitlin Thompson, Shannon Vallor, Ma
Leading the Technological Good Life
A Web site for students on the intersection of technology and ethics
World that Wikipedia Made
A panel discussion on technology, ethics, and the law in the Wikipedia editing model
Unavoidable Ethical Questions About Social Networking
Fairness, rights, and virtues are explored in relation to sites such as Facebook and MySpace
Ethics and Politics of Search Engines
Transcript of a panel discussing privacy, censorship, fairness, and access issues related to search engines.
Peter Norvig, Terry Winograd, Geoffrey Bowker, Kir
Unavoidable Ethical Questions About Search Engines
Privacy, censorship, trust, and intellectual property rights are among the issues raised about ethics and search engines.
Gated Communities In Cyberspace
The creation of defensible space holds the key to commerce on the Internet.
Ellen F. Harshman, Jam
From blocking software to legislation, strategies address children's access to objectionable material on the Internet.
Joseph Westfall
Bewitching Miss Julia
Review of "Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet" by Sherry Turkle
Tim Healy
Privacy: Electronic Information and the Individual
The security of personal information in the Internet age.
Joseph Westfall
2001 plus 28: The Age of Spiritual Machines
A review of Ray Kurzweil's, The Age of Spiritual Machines
Neil Quinn reviews Ray Kurzweil
Privacy Experiment
Invasions of privacy using Internet services.
Joseph Westfall
Libraries on the Information Superhighway
The ethical issues behind access to sexually explicit materials on the Internet.
Internet Blocking
An analysis of technological solutions to the problem of cybersmut.
Joseph Westfall
The Cyber City Network
An online network for city services raises questions about access and whether the provision of services electronically will increase disparities between rich and poor.
Thomas Shanks