Data, Dollars, and Unintentional Subversion of Human Rights

MON, FEB 12, 2007 (1:21:16)

Thomas White argues that one of the unanticipated consequences of some recent decisions in the IT industry is a disregard for the importance of privacy as a fundamental human right. Given the speed of technological change in the IT industry, it should surprise no one that ethical issues in the industry develop at a brisk pace as well. It should also come as no surprise that, in such a fast-paced environment, decisions made with good intentions may have serious unintended consequences. In each case, companies cite good intentions for their decisions–maximizing profit, operating legally, for example. However, White contends that the explanations that these companies offer for their behavior is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature and role of business particularly in a democracy. He also argues that a richer understanding of business will lead to better decisions.

Bentley University
Human Rights Series
Media Shift: Digital Revolution Series