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Ethical Issues in the Online World

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Privacy Tradeoffs Online

Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2013

New technologies often bring both benefits and unintended consequences.  The same is true of laws aimed at new technologies.  In this brief clip, 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.  Using HIPAA as an example, he then argues that data protection efforts can go too far, leaving us with inefficient outcomes.  How do we strike the right balance between benefits and harms?

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Patrick Lin, Director, Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group, Associate Philosophy Professor, California said on Apr 1, 2013
It's fantastic to see Silicon Valley luminaries think about the broader impact of their technologies. More are beginning to understand that they need to be upfront about the possible challenges to ethics, law, and policy. Ignoring and failing to engage these issues puts their own business or industry at risk, not to mention that it's socially irresponsible. A well-informed discussion needs the participation of all stakeholders--from business to consumers to regulators to activists and so on. The privacy implications of GPS is one of these emerging concerns, especially as more mobile devices--ubiquitous globally--are GPS enabled. This makes it possible to track an individual's movements, even outside of public view and within one's own home. If today's generation has forgotten the value of privacy, GPS and other technologies are forcing us to take another look. - Like
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Tags: ethics, geolocation, HIPPA, internet, tracking