The SIMPORT project pursues an “ethics by design” approach. Although there are many ethical guidelines and principles, there is no clear methodology on how this can be put into practice. And for good reason. How to implement ethics in software development remains an empirical question: instead of introducing generic approaches from outside, context-specific practices need to be developed and tested to reflect, anticipate and answer the complex questions that arise at the intersection of society and software development. This search should be conducted in a way that is owned by the project members themselves and sensitive to the perspective of external stakeholders. An ethical software development process requires team members to consider not only the technical functionality but also the societal impact of their work. Although it is a great challenge to include ethical considerations in the development process, we believe that everyone can participate in the ethical reflection of decisions. Only problems that are recognised can be addressed.
These materials provide a starting point:
The Ethics Primer draws concrete lessons from the search for an appealing, context-sensitive Ethics by Design approach within the SIMPORT project. Our recommendations are of interest to anyone seriously interested in making ethics a core value in software development.
The Ethics Worksheets developed in the course of the project serve as an example of a concrete Ethics by Design method that was researched as part of the SIMPORT project.
Finally, a list of key terms provides a bird’s eye view of the landscape of ethics by design in the context of location-based services.