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

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us

ResourcesHuman Research EthicsEthics of Internet research trigger scrutiny – Nature (Elizabeth Gibney | October 2017)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Ethics of Internet research trigger scrutiny – Nature (Elizabeth Gibney | October 2017)

 


View full details | Go to resource


Concern over the use of public data spurs guideline update.

This case highlights the degree to which there has been an important shift in the degree to which online research can circumvent anonymity strategies that in the recent past seemed impenetrable. We will be following PERVADE with keen interest.

British graffiti artist Banksy is renowned for his anonymity. But that status was dented last year when researchers published a paper that cross-referenced the locations of Banksy’s street art with public information about people’s addresses and likely movements (M. V. Hauge et al. J. Spatial Sci. 61, 185–190; 2016). The team, led by academics at Queen Mary University of London, concluded that someone previously suspected to be Banksy probably was the secretive artist.
.
Because the study used public data, a university ethics committee said that the work was exempt from formal review — and informally advised academics that it would do no harm because a UK national newspaper had already identified the person in question as Banksy. But for some ethicists, the paper highlights growing concerns about the potential hazards of research that uses public data. “I think this study should never have been done,” says Jake Metcalf, a technology ethicist at the think tank Data & Society in New York City.
.

Read the rest of this discussion piece



Resources Menu

Research Integrity


Human Research Ethics

0