Thursday, April 10, 2014

Call for Abstracts - Digital Ethics

Received via e-mail today - Ken

Call for Abstracts 

4th Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics 

The Center for Digital Ethics & Policy at Loyola University Chicago (digitalethics.org) will be holding its 4th Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics on Nov 7th, 2014.

We are looking for papers on digital ethics. Topics might include privacy, anonymity, grieving, free speech, intellectual property, hacking, scamming, surveillance, information mining, transparency, digital citizenship, and/or the ethical use of digital technologies in journalism, advertising and public relations.

Paper abstracts should propose original research and be between 500 and 1,000 words in length (not including references).

Authors invited to present papers will be eligible for up to $400 in travel funds to be able to attend the Chicago symposium. The author(s) of the Top Student Paper will be eligible for up to $1,000 in travel funds.

Abstracts are due by midnight CST on April 15th, 2014, should follow APA or MLA.

Authors of top papers will have the opportunity to have their work published in Proceedings from the 4th Annual Symposium on Digital Ethics.

Send your submission in a MS Word document attachment to contact@digitalethics.org, and please write Digital Ethics Symposium submission in the subject line. Please send questions to the same email address.

Heartbleed and the National Academies Press

I found this amusing and wanted to share. - Ken

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What is Pervasive ICT?

I wrote this description of PICT for the 3 (!) events in which I participated at the 2014 annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. - Ken

Pervasive information and communication technology (PICT) is similar to ubiquitous computing (or ubicomp), pervasive computing, everyware, and ambient intelligence (AmI); it includes many different concrete artifacts, including sensors, tablets, and smartphones. Three characteristics distinguish PICT:
  • It is, or could be, anywhere and everywhere – buildings, billboards, floors, restrooms, purses, pockets, coffee makers, pacemakers, eyeglasses, and the kitchen sink. 
  • It detects, collects, organizes, acts upon, and transmits information, often wirelessly on the Internet. 
  • Its presence and operation is often undetected by casual users, whether hidden physically (e.g., computer chips embedded in automobiles) or functionally. Functional invisibility occurs when a function or use of the technology is not announced (e.g., tracking online behavior), announced in a cryptic fashion (as in most terms of use), or becomes ambient through a process of familiarization, such as when smartphones become as ordinary as wallets and Facebook becomes a way of life. 
Ethical challenges posed by PICT are new and emerging, as are the technologies themselves. Our panels will be exercises in anticipatory ethics – “ethical analysis aimed at influencing the development of new technologies.”[1]

[1] Johnson, Deborah G. 2010. The role of ethics in science and engineering. Trends in Biotechnology 28(12): 589–590.

Ken Pimple, PAIT Project Director

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Bioethics and Information Technology" - new section in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics

I learned recently that the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics is inaugurating a new section on bioethics and information technology.  Below I've pasted the text from a memo distributed by the journal. - Ken



Dear Colleagues,

It is now widely agreed that the future of the health professions is computational. That is, intelligent machines and other devices are becoming essential to practice and research in medicine, nursing, public health, etc. These technologies raise many interesting and important ethical, legal and social issues.

This memo is to announce that the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, a leading international bioethics journal, will this year launch a special section on "Bioethics and Information Technology." This section will feature original work on ethical, legal, policy and social aspects of the use of computing and information technology in health, biomedical research and the health professions. It is the goal of this section to apply CQ’s traditional standards of quality to this emerging field.

Articles on ethical issues and the following are welcome; this is not an exhaustive list.

Bioinformatics, biorepositories
Business of health information technology
Decision support systems and prognostic scoring systems
Disability and health informatics
Electronic health records
Government regulation of health informatics tools
Information and communications technology (ICT)
International issues, including harmonization, best practices, etc.
Internet and the World Wide Web
Laboratory information management systems
Mobile health
Personal health records
Public health informatics
Privacy and confidentiality
Professional-patient relationships
Remote presence healthcare, medical homes, etc.
Research and informatics
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
Robots and digital/virtual companions
Safety, quality and evaluation
Social networking
Software engineering and writing

Author queries are encouraged. For more information or to submit a manuscript, email the Section Editor:

Kenneth W. Goodman, Ph.D., FACMI
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
kgoodman AT med DOT miami DOT edu

Please share this notice with others who might be interested. More information about the journal, including guidelines for authors, is available at