The tech world is having a problem in the ethics space, so I started to round up relevant shards of the Internet that are relevant. The main themes tend to be about:
- People who make technologies at scale today need to consider the ethics of their creations.
- When a company’s values are placed front and center, employee attrition goes down.
- The question of by whose standard of ethics is driving a decision needs to be a key consideration.
In the Tech Arena
“As our technology is getting more advanced, how is it being used ethically?” —Marc Beniofe WSJ
“We need the technologist to have some level of thoughtfulness and responsibility toward what they’re building.” —Mira Lane Microsoft
“… stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them.” —Tim Cook The Atlantic
- Privacy Patterns — a UCB Project (related paper)
- Collection of Patterns for Sharing Data by IF Projects
- “A Look Back on Privacy” by IF Projects
Work at Publicis Sapient
In the non-Tech Arena
“A group of workers at the ecommerce company Wayfair staged a walkout in Boston Wednesday afternoon to protest the company’s sale of furniture to a government contractor that manages detention centers amid an ongoing humanitarian crisis at the southern border.” via Wired
“Employees of the ad agency Ogilvy objected after discovering the company’s contract with Customs and Border Protection.” via NPR
Along the way I found the ethicalsystems.org blog which has lots of relevant content:
“think twice before you buy a product from us. Do you really need it or are you just bored and want to buy something” —via ES blog on Patagonia
“Of every dollar that we spend on our business, $0.70 is on people” —via ES blog on Costco
“retail stores typically see turnover of 67% in part-time employees. Yet the Container Store, a leading storage and organizational products retailer, boasts an annual store employee turnover rate of only 10%” —via ES blog on Container Store
In general, ethics should be considered
This led me to an HBR piece on How To Design an Ethical Organization:
No company will ever be perfect, because no human being is perfect. Indeed, some companies we’ve used as examples have had serious ethical lapses. Real people are not purely good or purely evil but are capable of doing both good and evil.
Tech Products List
Mozilla privacy gift guide (my naming …)