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Ethical dilemma scenarios and emerging technologies

: Wright, David; Finn, Rachel L.; Gellert, Raphael; Gutwirth, Serge; Schütz, Philip; Friedewald, Michael; Venier, Silvia; Mordini, Emilio


Technological forecasting and social change 87 (2014), S.325-336
ISSN: 0040-1625
Fraunhofer ISI ()
ethical dilemma scenarios; privacy impact assessment; ethical impact assessment; near field communications; biometric technologies; human enhancement; drones

This paper posits that ethical dilemma scenarios are a useful instrument to provoke policymakers and other stakeholders, to including industry, in considering the privacy, ethical, social and other implications of new and emerging technologies. It describes a methodology for constructing and deconstructing such scenarios and provides four such scenarios in an orthogonal relationship with each other. The paper describes some different, but closely related scenario construction–deconstruction methodologies, which formed the basis for the methodology adopted in the European Commission-funded PRESCIENT project. The paper makes the point that in ethical dilemma scenarios, it is not immediately apparent what choices policy-makers should select. Hence, there is a need for undertaking a privacy and ethical impact assessment and engaging stakeholders in the process to identify and discuss the issues raised in the scenarios.