We are delighted to be hosting this week a seminar led by Prof. Pete Fussey from Essex University, entitled ‘Reconsidering rights and ethics in the era of digital security’. This is the latest in the seminar series The Politics of Freedom in Data Times organised by NewPolCom postdoctoral fellow Dr. Matthew Hall.
Reconsidering rights and ethics in the era of digital security
Tuesday 12th Mar 5pm – Room: Founders West 101
Professor Pete Fussey, Department of Sociology, University of Essex, UK
Recent years have seen a growing digitalisation of human societies. Digital technology has become increasingly ubiquitous and progressively integral to virtually all aspects of our lives. Companioning these developments has been the increased importance of digital data, now generated in unparalleled quantities and analysed with unprecedented speed and depth. These changes hold particular implications for the commission of, and responses to crime. Regarding the latter, the law enforcement uses of AI, predictive technologies, merged data hubs, algorithmic decision-making and advanced video analytics have generated significant attention and commentary. The speed and character such change brings many new ethical challenges. This includes a tension between state’s duty to uphold the security of its citizens – demanded by Article 3 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights – and obligations to uphold other rights such as privacy, expression and freedom from harassment. Yet it is arguable that whilst such debates have generated significant heat, they have produced little light. Based on initial findings from a five-year ESRC funded project analysing the human rights implications of big data and ICT this paper explores a range of ethical issues generated by the use of such technologies. Extending beyond the standard, and limited, ‘privacy versus security’ frame, the paper considers a range of additional concerns, including issues of efficacy, proportionality, utility and harm, collateral intrusion, consent, accountability, oversight and regulation.