The Moral-IT & Legal-IT Decks

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*NEW PAPER ANALYSING USE OF MORAL-IT CARDS*  ‘The Moral-IT Deck: A Tool for Ethics by Design.

We are pleased to present the Moral-IT and Legal-IT decks.

These physical cards are a responsible research and innovation tool created to enable structured reflection on legal, ethical, technical and social implications of new information technologies.

They are the latest development in our research at the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute into the role of physical card-based tools in translating law and ethical principles into more accessible forms for design teams. Inspired by legislative changes, such as the new General Data Protection Regulation, we recognise the need to build legal compliance into technologies by design and default. High profile scandals of data misuse have increased calls for technologies to be developed in more ethically sound ways too. We feel that practical tools for actually doing this and bringing wider values into IT design are lacking. These cards seek to address this gap, by supporting engagement with legal and ethical concepts through a process of translation into a more accessible form.

Our Moral-IT deck poses a wide range of critical ethical questions designers need to ask of their new technology. These are thematically clustered around four themes (privacy, ethics, law and security) and below are some examples.

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Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 17.54.50Our Legal-IT deck translates five complex European legal frameworks that aim to ensure data protection and cybersecurity for data driven technologies. We present the relevant rights, principles, definitions and responsibilities within the: EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016; EU Draft e-Privacy Regulation 2017; EU Network and Information Security Directive 2016; Cybercrime Convention 2001; and Attacks Against Information Systems Directive 2013.

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The beauty of cards is they can be used in a wide variety of ways. One approach is as part of our streamlined impact assessment process to unpack risks, likelihood of occurrence, safeguards and challenges of implementation. This proves particularly useful for a team at the early stages of the design of a new application or technology. A board guiding you through this process is downloadable below. They can also be sorted by relevance, clustered thematically and ranked in terms of importance by designers. We have been testing these in a variety of contexts, most recently with research teams as part of the Horizon Services Campaign.

The cards are publicly available as downloadable PDFs which you can print off or send to a professional printer. We would really like to build up dialogue on who you are, how you are using the cards, why and any feedback you have on the tool/process. Please send these on to

To widen access to these decks and associated tools (e.g. process board) are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-SA). These decks have been designed by Dr Lachlan Urquhart and Dr Peter Craigon at the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute. The photos used in the Moral-IT deck are all royalty and attribution free, sourced on Pixabay. Some of the graphics used in the Legal-IT deck are purchased via a Noun Project subscription.

Downloadable Content (all subject to the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license below)

Click for Moral-IT Deck.

Click for Legal-IT Deck.

Click for Prototype ‘process board’ for the impact assessment.

Creative Commons Licence
Moral-IT and Legal-IT Decks by Dr Lachlan Urquhart & Dr Peter Craigon, Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. )