News  |  ,   |  October 15, 2018

What can you do about data ethics in your organization?

News article by Steven Tiell. Published on Ethics of Data blog.


I hope you have a cup of coffee next to you, this is a long discussion of some conversations you should be having within your organization if you care about data ethics. In it, we’ll explore published and unpublished works.

So what can you do? Where’s a good place to start? Conversations. Are the right ones being had at the right times? When is the right time? The right time is as soon as possible. The conversations can start at the interview. Both for the candidate and for the company (these questions are my own).

From the interviewer’s perspective:

  • What’s your idea of an ethical organization?
  • Tell me about a time you had an ethical dilemma.
  • Have you ever wanted to file an ethics complaint?
  • What do you believe compromises an ethical workplace?
  • Would you lie to support an initiative you believe in?
  • How do you feel about using the technologies you develop?
  • Have you ever suffered in your career for doing what was right? Do you have any regrets?

And from the interviewee’s perspective:

  • How does ethics fit into the culture here?
  • In what ways are customers included as stakeholders for business process reengineering or product/service design?
  • What kind of opportunities exist to contribute to corporate citizenship or employee resource group initiatives?
  • For Developers and Data Scientists: Does the team practice ethical design reviews as part of code/data design reviews? If not, would they be open to starting?
  • For Developers and Data Scientists: How do you handle ethics concerns that arise during development/analysis?

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