Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Privacy issues in your back seat

After an interesting IPRO discussion on information ethics this afternoon, I was pleased to stumble on this article from the Washington Post about web-connected cars and some of the privacy issues this raises. Just like smartphones, new, internet-capable vehicles raise all sorts of interesting questions, like what kinds of information should manufacturers, car repair shops, fast food restaurants, and other business have access to? You can see where personalized advertising could go, as local gas stations who know you are running low offer you coupons for car washes and road snacks.

And what kinds of information should insurance companies, and the police have access to?  Should insurance companies be able to monitor if you are wearing a seat belt?

Anyway, check the article out and let us know what you think?

Monday, March 4, 2013


The Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions has just received an award of $108,669 to be the the participant for the United States in a project funded by the European Commission called “Promoting Global Responsible Research and Social and Scientific Innovation” or ProGReSS. The project, which also includes universities and ethics center from Europe, China, Japan, India, Australia, and South Africa seeks to explore what is meant when we talk about  Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) that is, research and innovation which is: a)ethically acceptable, b) is sustainable by avoiding significant adverse effects and b) drives towards the common good, i.e. societal desirability. Dr. Michael Davis and Kelly Laas of the Center will be the primary investigators on this project.

The project will link existing international networks of RRI from all continents with European partners and seek to achieve the following:
1. Link existing international networks of RRI with relevant societal actors on a global scale to focus innovation on societal desirability.
2. Complete a major fact-finding mission comparing science funding strategies and innovation policies in Europe, the US, China, Japan, India, Australia, and South Africa.
3. Advocate a European normative model for RRI globally, using constitutional values as a driver to inform societal desirability.
4. Develop a strategy for fostering the convergence of regional innovation systems at the global level. 

You can read more about the project on the European Commission’s CORDIS website.