Accountability in a computerized society

Helen Nissenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This essay warns of eroding accountability in computerized societies. It argues that assumptions about computing and features of situations in which computers are produced create barriers to accountability. Drawing on philosophical analyses of moral blame and responsibility, four barriers are identified: 1) the problem of many hands, 2) the problem of bugs, 3) blaming the computer, and 4) software ownership without liability. The paper concludes with ideas on how to reverse this trend.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-42
Number of pages18
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Volume2
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

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Social Responsibility
responsibility
Ownership
Software
Hand
liability
trend
society
Society
Accountability
Liability
Responsibility

Keywords

  • Accountability
  • Bugs
  • Computer ethics
  • Liability
  • Moral responsibility
  • Standard of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

Accountability in a computerized society. / Nissenbaum, Helen.

In: Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1996, p. 25-42.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nissenbaum, H 1996, 'Accountability in a computerized society', Science and Engineering Ethics, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 25-42.
Nissenbaum, Helen. / Accountability in a computerized society. In: Science and Engineering Ethics. 1996 ; Vol. 2, No. 1. pp. 25-42.
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