Track 4: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues
This paper examines the relationship between collaborative disaster mapping and conceptions of risk. It looks at improvised mapmaking during the 2007 wildfires in Southern California to identify and analyze social and technological issues in creating a shared understanding through collaboration. By comparing and contrasting two different, yet intertwined, mapping practices this paper focuses on how the distribution of social and technological actors change how risk, threat, and uncertainty are approached. One, more centralized mapmaking collaboration produced risks related to managing authority and security. The other, more distributed collaboration, produced risks related to public trust and safety. This paper argues that map-making is characterized as a messy, distributed network of knowledge production in which the meaning of risk emerges through the unplanned collaborations that evolve as those involved work to make sense of the wildfires, not as an a-priori definition.
Xaroula Kerasidou, Monika Büscher, Michael Liegl
This paper explores discourses of automation as a key ethical concern in the development of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems for disaster response. We discuss problems arising from ‘humanistic’ dichotomies that pit human against machine, military against civil uses and experts against laypersons. We explore how it may be possible to overcome human-technology dichotomies.
Natalie D. Baker, Spyridon Samonas, Kristine Artello
A hyperbolic portrayal of Ebola in the US resulted in a crisis of misinformation, when an actual outbreak never occurred. We study how online mass media uses discourse in the constitution of a culture of fear, and how non-expert actors (e.g. media) employ a specific line of discussion to legitimize actions outside of science. Strange nationalism is afantastical construction of foreign, invasive crises. This discourse was used in online media to create an imagined Ebola outbreak, which legitimized inappropriate disease management policies, since outbreak was positioned as fact. Information featured on mass media provides input to crisis and emergency management information systems, such as the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS). In this respect, online media play a key role in informing the public about crisis through the construction of real or imagined emergencies. How crisis is framed affects both public understanding and response by authorities.
Sung-Yueh Perng, Monika Buscher
Emergencies are characterised by uncertainty. This motivates the design of information systems that model and predict complex natural, material or human processes to support understanding and reduce uncertainty through prediction. The correspondence between system models and reality, however, is also governed by uncertainties, and designers have developed methods to render ‘the world’ transparent in ways that can inform, fine-tune and validate models. Additionally, people experience uncertainties in their use of simulation and prediction systems. This is a major obstacle to effective utilisation. We discuss ethically and socially motivated demands for transparency.
Katrina Petersen, Monika Büscher, Maike Kuhnert, Steffen Schneider, Jens Pottebaum
In this paper, we motivate the need for collaborative research and design for IT innovation in crisis response and management. We describe the value of such methodology and demonstrate how working alongside users enables creative anticipation of emergent future practices that can inform both more ‘appropriate’ and more ambitious innovation. We demonstrate how co-design methods are particularly valuable for eliciting ethical, legal, and social issues that would otherwise go unconsidered.
Michael Liegl, Rachel Oliphant, Monika Büscher
The latest EU funding framework, ‘Horizon 2020’, has moved consideration of ethical and societal implications of technology development to the fore. Yet, there is little guidance on how to do such research in practice, let alone how to innovate in ethically and socially sound ways. This paper addresses these issues in the context of a large scale EU funded project developing system of system innovations in IT supported emergency response. Building on collaborative design and a range of other approaches, the paper argues that just like ‘usability’, ethics cannot be invented or decided by experts, but has to be the product of engagement with the technology by directly or indirectly implicated publics. Facilitating such publics is a central element of what we call ‘ELSI Co-Design’. The paper outlines the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of this approach.
Janine S. Hiller, Roberta S. Russell
Cybersecurity was a major topic of discussion at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos - the Sony attack; huge data breaches at Target and Adobe; a 91% increase in targeted cyber-attacks; annual losses of over $400 billion; the exposure of 904 million personal data records; cyber-attacks on a Finnish bank, a South Korean credit bureau, a German factory’s industrial controls, and the Ukrainian government; as well as increased general anxiety over critical infrastructure exposure (Tobias 2014; WEC 2015). These incidents highlight the risks inherent in a world increasingly complex, interconnected, and cyber-based. Much like thinking in other fields of disaster and crisis management, creating an impenetrable boundary or eliminating cyber risk entirely has given way to building cyber resilience. Cyber resilience is a social, economic and national security issue. This paper examines one approach, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, in terms of building resilience in both cybersecurity and privacy.
Katja Schulze, Daniel Lorenz, Bettina Wenzel, Martin Voss
Warning systems are technically, socially, and organizationally shaped and rest on specific assumptions concerning human behavior during disasters. The common notions about people’s behavior in disaster situations are often not based on empirical data, but rather on so-called “myths” which overemphasize rare and situation-dependent extreme behaviors such as panic, disaster shock, looting or helplessness. Due to the fact that these expectations are shaped within social environments, different stakeholders such as a heterogeneous population and professionals exhibit different assumptions. These assumptions may not only be misplaced, they additionally interfere with warning systems. The paper compares empirical results of three connected surveys: a comprehensive document analysis on disaster behavior, qualitative interviews with disaster relief workers and a quantitative representative poll. By contrasting the status of research with professional narrations as well as with the people’s expectations, different expectations and their variations are explored.
Catherine Easton, Monika Buscher
Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) are increasingly used and, in certain jurisdictions, legally mandated in projects to foresee risks to privacy and to plan strategies to avoid these. Once adopted and implemented, the EU’s Data Protection Regulation will, in certain circumstances require the need for a PIA. This short paper focuses upon the PIA process in an EU-funded project to develop cloud-based disaster response technology. It introduces the project and then gives a background to the PIA process. Insights and observations are then made on how the PIA operates, with the aim of drawing conclusions that can both improve the current project and be transferable to others.
Rachel L. Finn, Hayley Watson, Kush Wadhwa
As growing emphasis is placed on engaging with big ‘crisis’ data, including data from social media, GPS, and satellite, adequate policies and measures must be in place in order to use this data in an ethically and legally responsible manner. The current working paper introduces the BYTE study, which is working towards identifying and understanding the various positive and negative externalities, or impacts, associated with the use of big ‘crisis’ data. This insight paper provides a preliminary discussion of various externalities that may be encountered in this study. By doing so, the authors highlight the need for additional research in this area to promote ethically and legally responsible crisis data practices.
The role of Emergency Management is to respond effectively to a major emergency that cannot be handled by the day to day independent services such as fire fighters, police, and medical response facilities. However, normal evolutionary processes typically make the ability to respond to disasters more difficult. This leads to long term decision and policy conflicts and incompatibilities about desirable goals, with implications for practitioners and system designers.