Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Articles


The Psychological Experiment You Consented To in Facebook's Terms of Service
For one week in 2012, half a million Facebook users took part in a massive psychological experiment aimed at discovering if emotions could be spread through social media. The problem? Users had no idea it was happening.
Kirk O. Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
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
Cloud Providers and Their Access to Unprecedented Information
Cloud service providers are in a unique position in having access to particularly potent growth indicators. Should they be monetizing this data?
Kirk O. Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
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
Are Tech Firms Responsible for the Misuse of Their Products?
Do technology firms have an obligation beyond compliance to prevent their products from being used to further human rights violations?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Disappearing Messages in the Workplace
Disappearing messages are all the rage for personal use, but now the technology is being marketed to the workplace.
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 Firms Participate in Government Data Programs?
Should tech firms be participating in government data programs, and to what extent should their users be informed?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Are App Privacy Contracts Only Lip Service?
Are companies ethically obligated to honor their preexisting contracts with users?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Respecting User Privacy Despite Profiting From It
Given the value of "big data" to Google, company managers face a dilemma in determining where to draw the line between data they should collect and data that violates privacy.
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
Facebook, Freedom of Speech, and Teens around the World
Facebook's privacy policy for teens may pose risks for young people living under governments that punish certain forms of expression.
Irina Raicu
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
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
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
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
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
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
A Database of Gun Owners (podcast)
SCU Journalism Professor Sally Lehrman leads a discussion of the Journal News decision to post an interactive map of people with gun licenses.
Sally Lehrman
Apps and Privacy: A Case Study
Should apps be able to collect a user's contacts without permission?
Irina Raicu
Your Privacy Online
Teaching module on Internet privacy
Irina Raicu
Defining Privacy
A definition of privacy as a right
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
Are Attitudes About Privacy Changing?
Multi-generational approaches to privacy
Irina Raicu
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
Privacy and Security in a Wireless World
Access to material from a panel on ethical issues raised by large wireless systems.
Information Privacy: A Case Study and Commentary
A proposal for a National AIDS registry raises concerns about privacy
Michael McFarland, S.J.
What is Privacy?
Definitions of privacy and informational privacy
Michael McFarland, S.J.
Why We Care About Privacy
The importance of privacy for human dignity, autonomy, and relationships
Michael McFarland, S.J.
Human Cost of Computer Errors
Inaccurate databases harm consumers
Michael McFarland, S.J.
Ethical Implications of Data Aggregation
The ability to amass enormous quantities of data on individuals impacts privacy
Michael McFarland, S.J.
Unauthorized Transmission and Use of Personal Data
Ethical problems with using data for purposes other than the original
Michael McFarland, S.J.
Data Matching: Some Ethical Considerations
Lack of due process and consent raise problems
Michael McFarland, S.J.
Privacy and Balancing Institutional Power With Individual Freedom
Monitoring of citizens by government and employees by employers threatens individual rights
Michael McFarland, S.J.
Privacy and the Law
A review of common law privacy protection, the Constitutional right to privacy, and privacy legislation
Michael McFarland, S.J.
Privacy Norms
Guidelines on protecting individual privacy
Michael McFarland, S.J.
What the Surprising Failure of Data Anonymization Means for Law and Policy
A Talk by Professor Paul Ohm. April 7, 2010.
Data Abuses at Deutsche Telekom
Emerging Issues - Data Abuses at Deutsche Telekom [6/2/2008]
Emerging Issues Group