Journalistic Objectivity is Fiction – And That’s Just Fine.

November 29, 2016 | Bryson Hull

All journalists, from their first day in class or on the job, are taught a sacrosanct principle that’s spoken of in reverential tones and repeated as if part of a monastic ritual: objectivity.

When workplace monitoring, behavioral analytics, and employee privacy collide

November 11, 2016 | Nikki Williams

Imagine wristwatch sensors that can detect perspiration and monitor pulse rates – not as part of an exercise regimen, but in a workplace setting.

Internet Trolls and the Ones Who Love Them

October 28, 2016 | David Stockdale 

The formula for mass internet outrage is increasingly nebulous; we never know what will set off the next online frenzy. But Milo Yiannopoulos, senior editor at Breitbart, seems to have it all figured out.

Spinning out of control: we need a code of campaign ethics

October 14, 2016 | Kate Baucherel

In June 2016, the result of the U.K.’s referendum on membership of the European Union brings down the Prime Minister, cripples Parliament and divides a nation in acrimonious back-biting.

Death and the Internet: What Happens to Your Digital Assets When You Die?

September 29, 2016 | Nikki Williams 

When you die, the executor of your estate begins the task of managing and distributing your assets. In the past, financial accounts, real estate and various chattels such as cars, furniture, personal property and other tangible items were affected. The advent of the information age, however, finds individuals storing heritable information online in the form of accounts and personal data.

Invasions of Privacy in Virtual Reality Journalism

September 20, 2016 | Paulina Haselhorst

In 2015, "Clouds Over Sidra," the first virtual reality (VR) video created for the United Nations, drew the public’s attention for both for its technological novelty and its adeptness at engaging users. To the public, the short film was an indication that journalism had reached a new frontier in which it could provide high-tech experiences that merged two environments.

Online Talent Platforms — A Boon for Workers or Digital Sweatshop?

September 7, 2016 | Nikki Williams 

Online companies such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, UpWork, TaskRabbit, Fiverr and other companies that match digital workers with online or real-world jobs offer individuals easy entry into the burgeoning workforce of freelancers. The ethics of this unregulated workforce are often questionable.

The Ethics of Lifelogging

August 26, 2016 | Benjamin van Loon 

Have you ever wished you could Google your own life experience? Have you worried about what you’d find if you could? In our Cult-of-Information age, it turns out that the technology to achieve this—also known as lifelogging—isn’t far off from total market saturation.

The Privacy Setting You Can’t Control: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

August 18, 2016 | Terri Williams

While many consumers try to fiercely guard their personal information, it would appear that these attempts are in vain. You’re only as strong as your weakest link, and every friend or colleague is a potential chink in your armor.

Why a Cashless Society Should Scare You

July 28, 2016 | Holly Richmond

Could cash become completely obsolete in the near future? And is that a good thing?

Write Reviews – Get Free Stuff!

July 15, 2016 | Paulina Haselhorst

Whether I’m searching for cheap shampoo, an expensive computer, or a spot-on Christmas present, I go straight to Amazon to compare my options and read the reviews. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to see an irritating trend that compromises the value of product reviews (and my ability to find top notch gifts).

Legislating for the open internet in a commercial world

July 5, 2016 | Kate Baucherel

On March 31 this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on broadband privacy regulations. As an external observer, the adoption of the NPRM is yet another example of a legislative style which addresses privacy concerns around each technology as it arises, rather than applying an automatic standard of privacy and then adapting to suit.

Ethics of Using Eyewitness Footage

June 23, 2016 | Mary T. McCarthy

Long before news crews can get to the scene of a crime, anyone with a smartphone can capture graphic images of a potentially violent or personal situation, and broadcast video live to thousands, even millions. The ethical ramifications of using eyewitness footage are complicated for journalistic and legal purposes in terms of the responsibilities and rights of both the filmmaker and the subjects of the film.

Are Celebrity Scandals Changing The Privacy Landscape?

June 15, 2016 | Holly Richmond

Today, celebrities know that if they're doing something unethical, chances are the public will find out. Beyond just boosting their sex appeal, celebs are using internet privacy scandals to incite the public on other villains: paparazzi and the media. Have these scandals taught us something? Has anything changed?

Balancing Security and Privacy in the Age of Encryption: Apple v. FBI

June 6, 2016 | Paulina Haselhorst

The San Bernardino attack that resulted in the deaths of 14 people last December continues to evolve into the polarizing yet familiar battle over the balance between privacy and national security. 

Pre-Crime Monitoring

April 28, 2016 | Benjamin van Loon

Stopping crime before it happens is the perfect martial dream. It can save time, resources, and even lives. But for the average citizen, the idea of preventive crime monitoring is more like a science fiction nightmare from Steven Spielberg’s 2002 tech thriller/Tom Cruise vehicle Minority Report.

Communities of Disinterest: How an Algorithm can put an End to Gerrymandering

April 15, 2016 | David Stockdale

For over 200 years, the devious practice known as “gerrymandering” has undermined our democratic process and effectively instilled a sense of political despondency among our electorate in the United States. Many solutions have been proposed to stop this practice, but one of the most promising ones may turn out to be a computer program.

SXSW 2016: policy, privacy, and the president - An eyewitness account.

April 5, 2016 | Kate Baucherel

Last month, for the first time in its 30-year history, the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, played host to the president of the United States. The president’s visit to the interactive event was a solid indictment of the importance of tech to government.

Is “ethical smartphone” an oxymoron?

March 28, 2016 | Holly Richmond

Mining minerals and metals for the phone parts create hazardous fumes and toxic waste, and workers who assemble iPhones also endure human rights violations. And when smartphones get tossed, hundreds of millions of them end up in landfills every year, where carcinogenic ingredients like lead and mercury can leach into soil and water. Has anything changed in the past four years? Fairphone thinks so.

Verses in Email Sadism: What can public record requests tell us about human cruelty?

March 17, 2016 | David Stockdale

Last fall, race relations at the University of Missouri at Colombia were intensely unstable. Melissa Click worked as an assistant professor of communications at the school. During a protest, student journalist Mark Schierbecker was recording the demonstrators, who had declared the inner circle of the protest a “media free zone” or “safe space.” Click blocked his camera with her hands after arguing back and forth for a few moments. “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here!” shouted Click. That last part would imminently come to haunt her.

Surveillance Art: Rebellion or Hypocrisy?

March 4, 2016 | Nikki Williams

In the 21st century, some artists have begun to use interactive, and sometimes intrusive, installations to capture the ethical struggle between privacy and information as it plays out in today’s world. But the line between highlighting this ethical struggle and contributing to it can be thin.

Is my data more private than yours?

February 25, 2016 | Kate Baucherel

In 2000, the Safe Harbor agreement came into force. This was an agreement between the United States Department of Commerce and the European Union that regulated the way that U.S. companies could export and handle the personal data of European citizens. Safe Harbor relied upon stated guarantees of parity between two diverse legal systems and cultures, which subsequent revelations showed could not be fulfilled.

Athletes with Agendas

February 16, 2016 | Paulina Haselhorst

Numerous athletes spent their childhood in turbulent communities and are now utilizing their status - and social media visibility - to speak on behalf of those facing similar struggles.

Facebook Unfriends Free Speech

February 8, 2016 | Nikki Williams

If you think you can speak your mind online, think again.

The Ethical Pitfalls of Crime Prevention Apps

January 16, 2016 | Nikki Williams

A new wave of mobile apps allows you to be aware of, and alert authorities to, suspicious characters in neighborhoods, stores and other venues through real-time tracking and user-reported incidents. Upon initial examination, this seems like a useful and efficient way to deter crime and increase personal safety, but it appears these crime-fighting superhero apps have a dark side.

Copyright in the Digital Age: How the TPP extends a flawed and harmful policy

January 11, 2016 | David Stockdale

It doesn’t seem controversial to suggest that the creator of an original artistic work, such as a song, film or a piece of literature, deserves the right to control how that work is used. Does this set of rules and conventions actually serve the public good? Is our notion of copyright law worth extending to other parts of the world?