19 April 2001 ............... Length about 400 words (3000 bytes).
This is a WWW document maintained by
Steve Draper, installed at http://www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve/talks/ethics.html.
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The ethics of recording users' computer behaviour
There will be a
GIST discussion on
Thur 19 April 2001, 4pm, conference room (F121), 17 Lilybank Gardens.
(How to get there.)
Title: "The ethics of recording users' computer behaviour"
Organiser: Steve Draper
Discussion led by: Henriikka Clarkeburn
her PhD thesis.
It is becoming ever easier to record users' behaviour on computers, and there
may be reasons why this is useful to the users or to others. The question
to be discussed here is what are the ethical issues around this area.
We shall begin with a specific case: recording students' behaviour during a
short research project, undertaken within the GRUMPS project. Technology may
be able to contribute to the solution too e.g.
- Requiring users to acknowledge they are giving permission every time they
- Making the logging visible on the screen at all times e.g. by a little
window showing or summarising the data being sent and stored
- Giving the user controls to reduce or turn off the data collection.
Henriikka Clarkeburn has taught courses in Bioethics:
another case of sensitising scientists to the ethical issues with their work,
and helping them to reason about that. She will chair and contribute to the
You may like to read the Feb. 2001 issue of CACM (Communications of the
Association for Computing Machinery) which also deals with this
You may also like to look at these sites about data recording, suggested by
Steve Draper's provisional notes and views are at:
Phil Gray: 5 mins summarising the specific two cases in the current
GRUMPS project study that pose potential ethical problems.
Julie Cargill: 3 mins on the ethics problems as perceived / raised by students
Steve Draper: 5 mins on possible principles, and possible
technical "solutions" e.g. making
monitoring visible vs. getting an acknowledged disclaimer every time they
login vs. doing it anyway and arguing its university
property and they shouldn't be doing private stuff vs. ....
Henriikka: Her views on the problem as stated,
and reasoning about solutions to it.
Everyone: general discussion.
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