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SIE 13: Finding a Third Path: Complexity and Ambiguity in Professional Ethics
10:30am - 12:00pm
Finding a Third Path: Complexity and Ambiguity in Professional Ethics
J.-F. Blanchette, S. Becker
Ethical dilemmas in computing and information systems are often framed as simplistic binaries: open/closed, public/private, dystopian/utopian, etc. In practice, however, information professionals work in ethical grey zones that defy such easy categorization. Using police body worn camera programs as a timely and representative use case, we will explore the ways in which rhetorical, technical, and structural approaches to the ethical use of information can embrace complexity and ambiguity. The organizers will first present examples of technology and policy solutions that are more (or less) successful examples of a “third path” approach. Participants will then work to identify similarly nuanced alternatives for a range ofbinaries common in the field of surveillance and recordkeeping. In doing so, we seek to reclaim the middle ground as a site for rich ideas, innovative designs, and effective, equitable information policies.