CHI Workshop on Ethical Issues with Research Data

Data sharing initiatives, big data, and recently publicised commercial research initiatives have shone a spotlight on a problem that has always existed. Data about people, whether it is publically available on the internet or gathered in a rigourously confidential research environment can reveal far more about those people than the original data gathering body--much less any participants--might expect.

HCI ethics has traditionally focused on how to avoid negative consequences for research participants while they are participating or as a direct result of the research. The processes around these issues do not apply to commercial research, and offer little or no guidance when one is working with data available on the internet or gathered by someone else. Nonetheless ethical challenges can arise when working with all kinds of data--commercially or academically gathered, curated or gathered by an automated process, public or confidential--and we must, as a discipline, find ways to manage these issues.

We seek contributions from CHI, UX, library and information sciences and related disciplines that specifically address the challenges of working with research data. We hope to use these contributions to provoke discussion and inform the beginnings of a new best practice in research ethics.