Ethics (2.0): - a look into The Internet of Things

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Alexander Maarbjerg Buus
  • Mathias Bechmann Haurdahl
4. term, Information Science, Master (Master Programme)
Keeping with our previous work with The Internet of Things, this master thesis seeks to investigate the phenomenon in light of its ethical implication for the individuals who makes the IoT a possibility. In the thesis we utilize our previous understanding of the subject through a hermeneutic approach, where we seek to answer the questions we derived from our previous work with the phenomenon.
In the thesis we seek to concretize the structure of The Internet of Things, by applying the theory of Information Ecologies on two separate cases, that represent the technology of the phenomenon. These cases are examined through case-based reasoning where we, in each case, start by presenting the facts of the case, the cases' affiliation with the IoT, and how we perceive the case as an information ecology. In each case we then elicit ethical problematic areas, which we attempt to generalize in later sections of the paper. In the attempt to answer how to ensure the role of ethics in technological development, we also look to the perspective of Jacques Ellul, and his views on technique, in an attempt to conceptualize the link between technology and society.
In the thesis we find that opacity represents an ideal that we deem critical to ensuring the role of ethics in technological development. We suggest that this ideal should be considered above the ideal of efficiency and rationality in technological development. We conclude that embodying the ideal of opacity in technology and technological development, will allow the individuals to have more direct influence on the development, which favors principles of utilitarian ethics through the collective happiness of the information ecologies and supplies the foundation for arising of the ethical demand. Conclusively, we state that the ideal's impact on technological development relies on the individual, and that the best way to ensure the role of ethics in this development is through the individuals' acceptance of the idea that that all information should be available to all.
Publication date2 Jun 2014
Number of pages70
ID: 198399971