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Maria Farrell @mariafarrell
, 7 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
When @RosariaTaddeo and I co-teach cybersecurity ethics and policy, we sometimes reference where US techs pledged to act ethically on personal data collection and misuse by the state. The weird thing is ... 1/
Many people think ethical action in tech work is either 0 or 100. If something questionable is going on re. cyber-security and ethics, there are just two options: You're either a whistle-blowing, unemployable super-hero, or you do and say absolutely nothing. 2/
But the clue is in "something questionable". When you smell something a bit off, data-wise, you don't have to immediately quit your job and call the Guardian. You start with just asking questions. "Oh, can you explain more about that?" "Why are we doing this?" 3/
"Are there other ways we can achieve what we want, but data-minimise?" "Have we gamed the potentials for misuse?" These are just questions. You don't have to be an ethics warrior to Just. Ask. Questions. Sometimes that's all it takes to start the conversation. 4/
As Primo Levi said, bad acts at scale rely on "functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions." You don't have to be a super-hero to ask questions. It's not everything. But it's a start. And yes, acting out Godwin's Law ... 5/
The reason Europeans invented data protection laws was because of misuse of personal data at scale, by states, assisted by large corporates. It happened then, and it can happen now. There's a world of possibility between doing and saying nothing, and losing your job. 6/
Misgivings that stay in your mind don't count. Be the person who asks the questions about why this data, why this use of it, who can misuse it, and so on. Just signalling that something may not be ok is the start of stopping it. #HolocaustMemorialDay #DataProtectionDay /end
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