Ethical dilemmas in networked systems research have been a topic of increasing debate over the last few years. As the Internet is becoming increasingly pervasive in people’s lives, networked systems research projects are collecting increasingly sensitive data on individuals, or affecting people in previously unknown ways. A discrepancy exists between human subject research – where there are relatively strict and broadly- understood ethical traditions – and networked systems research where (a) the consideration of these issues is relatively new, and (b) the existing best practices from other fields don’t easily translate. This project seeks to address this gap constructively in a multidisciplinary and community-based effort.

The primary aim to give substance to the discussion on the ethical, legal and policy issues of networked systems research. The secondary aim is to build a multidisciplinary network of experts in academia, government, NGOs and business from diverging theoretical and practical disciplines. This project is not a research project in the traditional sense that aims to answer set research questions, but rather it will be supportive of such research.