“The ethics of uncertainty for data subjects”

Nickel, P. J. (2019). The ethics of uncertainty for data subjects. In J. Krutzinna, & L. Floridi (Eds.), The Ethics of Medical Data Donation (pp. 55-74). (Philosophical Studies Series; Vol. 137). Cham: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-04363-6_4

Abstract: Modern health data practices come with many practical uncertainties. In this paper, I argue that data subjects’ trust in the institutions and organizations that control their data, and their ability to know their own moral obligations in relation to their data, are undermined by significant uncertainties regarding the what, how, and who of mass data collection and analysis. I conclude by considering how proposals for managing situations of high uncertainty might be applied to this problem. These emphasize increasing organizational flexibility, knowledge, and capacity, and reducing hazard.