Identify a particular technology that you believe raises an important ethical question (which could begood or bad). Indicate why you care about this topic – why it matters to you personally. You shouldalso indicate why the rest of us should care. The technology can range from the specific (e.g. radiofrequency ID tags) to the general (computer cookies,algorithmic bias, ‘the digital divide’). Choose a topic that fascinates you andthat you think is important, but make sure that it relates computerization to society. Avoid selecting a“consumer’s guide” topic, e.g. “how to protect your computer from viruses.”
This version should not be less than 250 words. Avoid bulleted and numbered lists. You may wish tostart finding sources for the factual material you intend to use in subsequent versions of your paper.In this and subsequent versions of your paper, all citations and the bibliography should be in APAformat. You are free to use sources from the class readings, but these will not count toward therequired number of sources in later versions.
In the first version of your policy paper you should make and defend an ethical position and a policyderived from that position. Discuss the technology whose impact you are investigating, the currentpublic policy (or lack thereof), your proposed public policy, and an argument for why this policyshould lead to better social outcomes, grounded in your conception of the good.
Your paper should be not less than 1500 words in length. In your bibliography, you should makereference to at least four peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles that are at least 20 pages total inlength; if their combined page count is less, then include as many peer-reviewed, scholarly journalarticles as you need to make a minimum of 20 pages. Substantiate each factual claim in your paperthrough a specific reference to one of your bibliographic sources or don’t make the claim.
After completing the first version of your ethical policy paper, your paper will be reviewed by one or twootherstudents in your class. In turn, you will review the policy papers of another student as well. Whencomplete, the reviews should be submitted to both the instructor and the student being reviewed.
Each review should be two or three paragraphs that address the quality of the argument made in theposition paper. You’re not dis-agreeing with their position per se, but rather analyzing the effectiveness of thepaper and hopefully providing them with some constructive criticism. Here are some aspects of eachpaper you might consider:
1. Does the author describe their chosen technology in sufficient detail to make it clear how ethicalissues have arisen from the technology?
2. Does the author take an ethical position? If you can identify normative statements, e.g. who shouldbe responsible, what should be avoided, what should be legislated, etc., that is a good clue.
However, the author should be proposing more than just best practices, e.g. we should use thelongest encryption key available, or we should thoroughly test software before release (those arepolicies, not ethical positions).
3. Does the author support his/her position with factual evidence? Are all factual statements drawnfrom cited sources?
4. Does the author fairly depict opposing viewpoints? Does the author consider importantopposing viewpoints?
5. Does the author propose a policy to encourage or enforce ethical usage of the technology? Is theauthor’s policy a rational conclusion drawn from his/her evidence? Does the author documenthis/her chain of logic and is that chain reasonable? Does the author describe the underlying ethicalprinciples that support the specific chain of logic he/she has chosen?
Based on the feedback you’ll receive from peer reviews on the first version of your paper, and reflecting additional research that you do, revise your policy paper. This version should be not lessthan 2000 words. You could include additional references, like scholarly journal articles, if necessary. In total, your final version of your paper should reflect and integrate all of the ethical considerationsthat we have covered in the course: from the ethical theories as reflected in the policy position that youare taking, to the sorts of media sources that you are using, to the understandings that you are makingconcerning the social and political implications of the technology that you are addressing.