Does Technology Need to Be Ethical?


We’re already starting to see the signs
that trust in tech is eroding quickly. The average citizen is starting to feel more
and more like, “I’m not sure that I feel good about all the way technology is interacting
with my life.” Technology is already reshaping things in a way where the laws become obsolete, and certainly the tech leaders realize now that if you’re the CEO of a major tech company, you are a political figure whether you choose to be or not. That of course seems to be part of the impulse
behind why Mark Zuckerberg is out there campaigning. What it means is he’s got to be thinking
about what the political impact of Facebook is on the world and what it means to be in
his position. That’s good. We want to encourage people to be thinking
about their role in society, and their role in how governance and law evolve. We’re just starting to see the first efforts to put a set of frameworks or checklists around technology, so we can evaluate them. You’re seeing this sort of consumer-style
model from the environmental impact of the servers
that run this service, to the human rights aspects of whether this company discloses
information to governments or protects peoples, privacy, and security. Is my information secure? What’s
their track record on keeping my passwords private and not getting hacked? And we need to bring that
same mindset when we evaluate technology. It’s like, if I buy this and I use it every
day and I put all my personal data and information into it, is that going to result in something
that makes me feel better about myself? Is it going to make me feel good about my
place in the world? Will it make me feel secure about the way my
private information is used? Everybody loves technology. If we’re
going to be the industry that everybody pats on the back and rewards, then we’ve got
to an obligation to society to be worthy of all that praise.

6 Comments

  1. Ari Cohn said:

    Absolutely no examples cited for people considering the ethics of apps. I call shenanigans.

    October 4, 2017
    Reply
  2. Norman Oro said:

    Anil Dash is right. As these technologies become more interwoven into our lives, the ethical dimension grows more important. Before, it was simply about the value proposition to customers. However, the impact of new technologies on various stakeholders (investors, employees, customers, the local population, consumers of resources the technology uses, etc) also needs to be considered. Ideally, this can be done through services and technologies that are themselves innovative, which don't stifle technological development.

    October 4, 2017
    Reply
  3. Kip Andrew said:

    Why are these so short? go more in depth! I want more!

    October 4, 2017
    Reply
  4. brightgreenpupil said:

    The future of tech is trust-less! Search "Bitcoin" and "blockchain technology".

    October 4, 2017
    Reply
  5. Russell Stauffer said:

    I hope those guys in tech think faster. They need to come up with a way that people have a living when there are so few good-paying jobs being created relative to part-time, low-wage jobs which you can't sustain life on. And this is the fault of these technology people, who sing the homilies of ancient economists while having to daily step over the hordes of hungry and homeless people forced to sleep outside their company doors.

    October 27, 2017
    Reply
  6. Marko Max said:

    The only 'impact' of the facebook on the world is debilitating. Say no more…

    February 5, 2018
    Reply

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