A new working paper has been added to Social Science Research Network called Ethical Dimensions of User Centric Regulation. This paper is set to be presented at CEPE/ETHICOMP 2017 in Turin, Italy later in the year, in the stream ‘ ICT and the City’.
We question the ethical role of information technology (IT) designers in IT regulation, unpacking the nature of their responsibilities. We illustrate our argument through the emerging technological setting of smart cities and use our concept of user–centric regulation (UCR) to consider what a closer alignment of IT design and regulation could mean in practice.
We situate how IT designers can respond to their ethical and legal duties to end users. Our concept asserts that human computer interaction (HCI) designers are now regulators but as they are not traditionally involved in the practice of regulation, the nature of their role is ill-defined. We believe designers need support in understanding what their new role entails, particularly managing ethical dimensions that go beyond law and compliance.
We use conceptual analysis to consolidate perspectives from across Human Computer Interaction, Information Technology Law and Regulation, Computer Ethics, Philosophy of Technology, and beyond. We focus particular attention on the implications of designers mediating interactions of users with technologies and consider the distinction between intended and actual use, where regulation needs to accommodate for both.