Computing, Digital and Citizen Science

Computing (or computational science) has always been a bit of a confusing term. Is it the science of computing, or is it science (whatsoever) with the help of computing (as in computational physics or mathematics). Of course we have got used to the terminology and use it as deemed fit for the argument.

It becomes however a bit more complicated if we start talking about Digital Science (or Digital Ethics, which I use also myself). Where computing can be seen as a reasonably well defined activity, this cannot be said anymore of Digital. Almost everything that has something to do with information, will relate to the digital world nowadays. So how would we define or describe Digital Science. Internet Science is likely an introspective part of it, as it studies part of the digital world (the Internet). But is seems that it is mostly used for doing science in a digitally enabled way. Like using AI or deep learning for understanding natural or social phenomena.

Now we see emerging the term Citizen Science, and in the white paper of the Socientize project (http://www.socientize.eu/ ) this is described as: Continue reading

Digital Ethics – Michel Riguidel, Jacques Bus

DEF plans a debate on Digital Ethics in October of this year as a follow-up of the discussions at DEF 2015. This blog invites comments and critique and suggestions in preparation of that debate

The need to anticipate legislation and usages

Digital technologies have so modified human activity and digital usage evolves so quickly, it is essential to constantly update the rules of digital ethics and review deontology in many areas (trade, health, education …). Following the new opportunities and potentials, it is well possible to use or divert erroneously or act maliciously.

Digital Ethics touches on many hot issues, including respect for privacy and consequences of profiling, ethics of content, information collection and storing, right to be forgotten, cybercrime and terrorism, (mass) surveillance, freedom of expression, IoT and Big Data, robots and drones, digital artificial body implant or augmented reality in neurobiology, intellectual property, virtual currency, precaution, accountability, responsibility and intentionality, global and cultural differences of ethical norms. Continue reading

DEF 2015: The implications of the Code as Law

Ajit Jaokar was a speaker at the Digital Enlightenment forum 2015 (DEF2015). A blog of him focuses on a specific talk from DEF 2015: Legal questions in the digital world by TJ McIntyre – UCD and Digital rights Ireland. The event talks and presentations can be found HERE.

The discussion related to the loss of Utopian ideals on which the Internet has been founded – specifically in the legally murky world of ‘Code as law’ – which encapsulates legal enforcement in the form of Code. “Code as law” also creates a new (often reluctant) law enforcer in the form of ICT companies.  This issue is thus a key part of Internet Governance today. Ajit’s views on this talk can be found at the EIF News.

The post-digital social contract part 3 of 3

Restore balance and reclaim personal data

  1. The major actors – digital corporations and governments – need a haystack to find a needle.[i] They use a three step process to do this: (1) Create and adapt models with inference engine and rules; (2) Apply the model to data and match individuals to groups; (3) Take actions based on the matching, observe the results and tune the model.[ii] The more data, the better the model.
  2. The old school design approach to controlling this surveillance is to ask questions like: What are the rules? What are the consent points? Where are consents held? What are the defaults (opt-in or opt-out)? What are the obligations to the individual? How are those obligations met and monitored? How are obligations passed between actors? Can we regulate personal data markets? Should controls be centralized or distributed? What are the incentives? How do we resource enforcement?
  3. This old school design will not work.   Continue reading