Tag Archive | Ethics

Reflections on the value of ethics in relation to Earth observation

Abstract:

Earth observation is a science and technology with tremendous power to collect data over the whole of the Earth at many wavelengths and at many spatial resolutions. But does this science and technology, or rather the use of this science and technology, have an ethical dimension? This article explores the application of ethical concepts to Earth observation. Three main aspects of ethics are examined: duty theories of ethics, consequentialist ethics, and environmental ethics. These ethical ideas are then applied to the UN Principles on Remote Sensing, the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters and to Google Earth, and also to questions of security and privacy. The article concludes that there is no absolute ethical position in relation to Earth observation, but a dependency on the perspective of the observer. For link to the article (but it’s behind a $58 paywall, seriously), click here.

Author: Ray Harris

Source: International Journal of Remote Sensing, Volume 34, Number 4, 2013 , pp. 1207-1219(13)

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01431161.2012.718466

Publication date: 2013-02-20

Big data is our generation’s civil rights issue, and we don’t know it

by Alistair Croll, O’Reilly Radar, August 2, 2012

…With the new, data-is-abundant model, we collect first and ask questions later. The schema comes after the collection. Indeed, big data success stories like Splunk, Palantir, and others are prized because of their ability to make sense of content well after it’s been collected — sometimes called a schema-less query. This means we collect information long before we decide what it’s for.

And this is a dangerous thing….

via Big data is our generation’s civil rights issue, and we don’t know it – O’Reilly Radar.

International Workshop on Geospatial Data Quality: Legal, Ethical and Technical Aspects

 International Workshop on Geospatial Data Quality: Legal, Ethical and Technical Aspects

Post GSDI Conference Workshop, May 18 2012

2. Organizer/Contact Person
Marc Gervais (Marc.Gervais@scg.ulaval.ca) or Rodolphe Devillers (rdeville@mun.ca)

3. Workshop Description and Goals
This Friday workshop will summarize the main research findings of a 4-year Canadian GEOIDE project that looked at law, data quality, public protection and ethics in relation to geospatial data. The agenda is below. More details will be found on the GSDI-13 Conference web site shortly, including registration instructions. A small fee will be charged to cover out-of-pocket expenses. The workshop is open to the public.

Read More…

Towards the Global Harmonization of Licenses for Geographic Data

Workshop #2: “Towards the Global Harmonization of Licenses for Geographic Data”

Monday, May 14, 2012 at the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure 13 Conference, Quebec, Canada

2. Organizer/Contact Person
Dr. Bastiaan van Loenen, Chair, GSDI Association Legal and Socioeconomic Committee, b.vanloenen@tudelft.nl, +31(0)152782554

3. Workshop Description and Goals
On the basis of the work of the GSDI Legal and Socioeconomic Committee on the comparison and categorization of key licence components, this workshop will explore the possibilities for developing a set of model licences that can be applied globally to the dissemination of geographic data. Participants will explore the needs and interests of data providers and the users in the licensing process and try to develop a common understanding of the priorities for a global licensing framework. From this, the group will try to reach preliminary agreement on a limited number of license terms and conditions that might be applied on a global level.

4. Workshop Topics
What is the problem? What are potential solutions?
Open access license provisions
Commercial license provisions
Potential unified frameworks
Committee approach and progress to date
Towards a minimal set of workable terms and conditions for most providers and users

Read More…

Responsible Geospatial Data Sharing: A Canadian Viewpoint

by Rodolphe Devillers, Spatial Data Infrastructure Magazine, March 19, 2012

This article summarizes the main research findings of a 4-year Canadian GEOIDE project that looked at law, data quality, public protection and ethics in relation to geospatial data. The project involved geomatics engineering professionals, geographers and lawyers, giving a multidisciplinary perspective on those questions. Relatively little work had previously been carried out in Canada on the legal framework related to geospatial data, including liability, privacy and intellectual property questions. This project, in collaboration with a number of government (e.g. Natural Resources Canada, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Transportation Canada), industry (i.e. Groupe Trifide) and international partners (e.g. CERTU, Eurogeographics, international Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)), laid important foundations in these areas. …

For full text of the article, visit Responsible Geospatial Data Sharing: A Canadian ViewpointSDI Magazine.

On Crowdsourcing, Crisis Mapping and Data Protection Standards

by Patrick Meier, iRevolution, February 5, 2012

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) just published their official Data Protection Manual. … At the same time, the 150-page report does not mention social media even once. This is perfectly understandable given IOM’s work, but there is no denying that disaster-affected communities are becoming more digitally-enabled—and thus increasingly the source of important, user-generated information. Moreover, it is difficult to ascertain exactly how to apply all of IOM’s Data Protection Principles to this new digital context and the work of the Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF). …

For full text of this article visit On Crowdsourcing, Crisis Mapping and Data Protection Standards | iRevolution.

People Protection Standards 1.0: Satellite Sentinel Project Team Responds to Comments

People Protection Standards 1.0: Response by the Satellite Sentinel Project Team at Harvard Humanitarian Initiative to Recent Comments Concerning the Global Brief Article Entitled: Crisis Mapping Needs an Ethical Compass

by Satellite Sentinel Project Team, February 2012

When Raymond, Howarth, and Hutson wrote our argument for the development of comprehensive ethical and technical standards for the crisis mapping community, we were aware of last year’s meeting hosted by World Vision in Geneva and the 2010 meeting in Phnom Penh hosted by Oxfam Australia on Early Warning for Protection. … These efforts are laudable, much needed, and constructive. They are also by themselves insufficient to address the challenges that our field and those we seek to assist face as a result of the work we all do. While important initial steps, the meetings, protocols, and blog posts regarding these issues do not create a comprehensive code of ethics and technical standards by themselves. The issue is not whether there have been meetings or working groups. The issue is whether the crisis mapping community will decide to self-regulate in a proactive way before serious lapses by any of us put civilians in jeopardy. …

For full text of the article on this important topic, visit Satellite Sentinel Project.

Ethics, CrisisMapping, and Data Protection Standards 2.0

By Anahi, Stand By Task Force, February 14, 2012

As noted in Patrick Meier’s blog post on “Crowdsourcing, Crisis Mapping and Data Protection Standards”, humanitarian organizations have yet to develop and publicize data protection protocols for social media, crowdsourcing and volunteer geographical information. This is why, in November 2011, the Standby Task Force (SBTF) actively participated in an important workshop to discuss these challenges. The workshop was organized and sponsored by World Vision (WV) and deliberately scheduled around the 2011 Crisis Mappers Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. This was quite possibly one of the most important meeting that we (as the SBTF) participated in all of 2011. For the first time, we had a dedicated space to share our challenges and questions with data protection experts. Participants included representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Care International, Oxfam GB, UN OCHA, UN Foundation, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and obviously WV. …

For full text of the article, visit Data Protection Standards 2.0.

Stranger than Fiction: A Few Words About An Ethical Compass for Crisis Mapping

by Patrick Meier, iRevolution, February 12, 2012

The good people at the Sudan Sentinel Project (SSP), housed at my former “alma matter,” the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), have recently written this curious piece on crisis mapping and the need for an “ethical compass” in this new field. They made absolutely sure that I’d read the piece by directly messaging me via the @CrisisMappers twitter feed. Not to worry, good people, I read your masterpiece. Interestingly enough, it was published the day after my blog post reviewing IOM’s data protection standards. …

For full text of the article, visit Stranger than Fiction: A Few Words About An Ethical Compass for Crisis Mapping | iRevolution.

Crisis Mapping Needs an Ethical Compass

Nathaniel Raymond, Caitlin Howarth & Jonathan Hutson, GlobalBrief, Feburary 6, 2012

The recent global heroics of digital dissidents and witnesses betray a larger kink in their armour – a desperate need for standards and professionalism. In 2011, civilians using communication technologies to obtain information and to coordinate political action defined the year more than any other development in foreign affairs. Time magazine chose “The Protester” as its 2011 Person of the Year, noting how last year’s protest movements made use of Twitter hashtags and digital platforms in order to share imagery and map locations, and to spread their messages around the world.

Individuals using smartphones and social networks sparked and sustained the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement in North America, as well as the Russian Winter that gripped Moscow. Maps displaying near real-time data collected from the ‘crowd’ aided the response to a devastating earthquake in Japan. And DigitalGlobe’s commercial satellites monitored violence along the border between Sudan and South Sudan, allowing Harvard analysts as part of the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) – funded by actor and activist George Clooney and the charity Not On Our Watch – to capture evidence of war crimes hours after alleged mass atrocities occurred. …

For full text of the article, visit Crisis Mapping Needs an Ethical Compass : Global Brief.

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