Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VIRT-EU (Values and ethics in Innovation for Responsible Technology in EUrope)
Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-12-31
The VIRT-EU project partners achieved the following four objectives:
• To empirically identify how local culture and network society influence the understanding and movement of particular social values among technology developers. This includes how local differences and networked commonalities can influence the development of ethical subjects using data mining, social network analysis, qualitative inquiry, and design methods.
• To develop a Privacy, Ethical and Social Impact Assessment (PESIA) framework shaped by state of the art legal research and empirical data, to enable developers and other societal stakeholders to reflect upon, evaluate and take into account not only the data protection, security and privacy aspects of new technologies but also the ethical and social concerns embedded within that challenge autonomy and freedom.
• To systematically consider and implement the PESIA framework as part of co-designing a set of self-assessment tools with technology developers, who may not be able to anticipate the future use of their projects an their clients and partners, founded in existing developer practices and based on quantitative, case study and design research that identifies how ethics operate as a process.
• To leverage expert civil society partners to engage SMEs, makers, advocates and other stakeholders in the implementation of co-designed tools and processes working towards alignment with the changing European data protection landscape in order to build collective and social resilience in an age of individual subjectivity.
Overall, our empirical investigations of how IoT developers understand and enact ethics in practice resulted in key findings about how developers negotiate values within the moral orders of their various technological milieu. Through this mapping, we have gained insight into how ideas and ethical values develop and travel in Europe and beyond. The practice-oriented VIRT-EU results offer concrete mechanisms to ensure that ethical questions can be addressed from within the technology development process. Project outcomes are immediately relevant to the IoT development communities but can be extended to broader considerations of ethics in technology development and AI.