ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Facebook scandal: I am being used as scapegoat – academic who mined data – The Guardian (Matthew Weaver | March 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on March 22, 2018
 

The academic at the centre of Facebook’s data breach claims he has been unfairly scapegoated by the social network and Cambridge Analytica, the firm that acquired the information.

The Menlo Report: Ethical Principles Guiding Information and Communication Technology Research (Guidelines | 2011)0

Posted by Admin in on March 20, 2018
 

Executive Summary

This report proposes a framework for ethical guidelines for computer and information security research, based on the principles set forth in the 1979 Belmont Report, a seminal guide for ethical research in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Despite its age, the Belmont Re- port’s insightful abstraction renders it a valuable cornerstone for other domains. We describe how the three principles in the Belmont report can be usefully applied in fields related to research about or involving information and communication technology. ICT research raises new challenges resulting from interactions between humans and communications technologies. In particular, today’s ICT research contexts contend with ubiquitously connected network environments, overlaid with varied, often discordant legal regimes and social norms. We illustrate the application of these principles to information systems security research – a critical infrastructure priority with broad impact and demonstrated potential for widespread harm – although we expect the proposed framework to be relevant to other disciplines, including those targeted by the Belmont report but now operating in more complex and interconnected contexts.

While quite old and so a bit dated on the technological front, it is still a welcome assertion that ethics standards do usefully apply to computer science research

We first outline the scope and motivation for this document, including a historical summary of the conceptual framework for traditional human subjects research, and the landscape of ICT research stakeholders. We review four core ethical principles, the three from the Belmont Report (Respect for Persons, Beneficence, and Justice) and an additional principle Respect for Law and Public Interest. We propose standard methods to operationalize these principles in the domain of research involving information and communication technology: identification of stakeholders and informed consent; balancing risks and benefits; fairness and equity; and compliance, transparency and accountability, respectively. We also describe how these principles and applications can be supported through assistive external oversight by ethical review boards, and internal self-evaluation tools such as an Ethical Impact Assessment.
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The intent of this report is to help clarify how the characteristics of ICT raise new potential for harm and to show how a reinterpretation of ethical principles and their application can lay the groundwork for ethically defensible research.
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The Menlo Report: Ethical principles guiding information and communication technology research. http://cryptome.org/0006/menlo-report.pdf , September 2011

Portland State University Researchers May Have Violated Federal Law by Using the Personal Data of Thousands of Portland-Area K-12 Students – Williamette Week (Katie Shepherd | March 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on March 13, 2018
 

It appears to be a remarkable breach of trust.

Plenty of graduate students dislike the research assignments handed to them by professors.

Stories like this highlight there is media interest not only in what we research but also the ethics of our research. For SoTL researchers this emphasizes the need to be careful not to breach the trust of our students and to use care about matters such as privacy and consent. AHRECS was funded by the OLT to produce a few resource booklets about research ethics in SoTL research

Ezra Whitman, a graduate student in the 2017 class at Portland State University, had a different problem with the homework he was given. He said it broke the law.
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“I didn’t want to do it, period,” says Whitman. “It didn’t meet research best practices in any aspect. [We were] illegally harvesting data.”
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For two years, professors at PSU’s Graduate School of Education conducted a research project using unwitting K-12 students as subjects. The university has since acknowledged it failed to inform parents of the research and did not get their permission to access the student data. University officials say they are still examining whether any laws were broken.

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Ubuntu Ethics (Papers: Philip Ogochukwu Ujomudike | 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on March 4, 2018
 

Abstract
This is an entry on ubuntu ethics. The idea is to develop an endogenous African conception of ubuntu as an ethical construct. We attempt to use ubuntu to countermand the current dominant social paradigm (DSP) of hatred, intolerance, abuse of human rights, dehumanization, exploitation, authoritarianism, poverty, and oppression that plague the human race at the national and international levels. This work proposes a conception of ubuntu as a value system built upon the application of some key moral and democratic values for liberation and transformation. Specifically, ubuntu ethics is defined as a set of values central among which are reciprocity, common good, peaceful relations, emphasis on human dignity, and the value of human life as well as consensus, tolerance, and mutual respect. These features are to operate at the national level. We also argue for a possibility utilizing ubuntu ethical correlates as materials for establishing stable and viable human relations within the international system or global order. Our aim is to conceptualize ubuntu as an ethical idea and praxis, as well as to situate it as an ethical ideal all with a view to making humans better and thus tackling in a systematic manner, our natural and man-made existential predicaments.

Keywords
Ubuntu, Communalism, Community, Human person, Humanity, Dignity, Moral values 

Ujomudike P.O. (2015) Ubuntu Ethics. In: ten Have H. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics. Springer.
http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-319-05544-2_428-1.pdf

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