Ethical and Value-based Engineering
We are interested to understand how it possible to build technical systems more ethically and value-based. In this context Prof. Spiekermann’s textbook “Ethical IT Innovation- A Value based Design Approach” is a major effort. It appeared in early 2016 with Taylor & Francis. Since then Prof. Spiekermann has become co-chair of IEEE’s first global standardization effort on ethical engineering; the IEEE P7000 standard. Till Winkler, a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute is looking into how we can bring ethical and value based engineering into agile and highly interactive development processes that are the norm today.
In parallel, we have been trying to understand what it is that motivates or impedes engineers to practically engage in value-based design and conducted a major empirical study to understand their behavior; in co-operation with Prof. Marc Langheinrich (University of Lugano). This work continues at the Institute in co-operation with Ph.D. candidate Kathrin Bednar.
Privacy by Design & Personal Data Markets
The Institute has a long tradition in privacy research and some major third-party funded projects are currently conducted in this domain; including the SPECIAL project and the Privacy & US Project. The Institute also co-founded the Privacy & Sustainable Computing Lab that is headed by Dr. Ben Wagner and is co-operating with many Institutes inside and outside WU to strengthen this area of research. Professor Spiekermann in particular has worked on Privacy Impact Assessments and Privacy by Design in the past.
Oetzel, M. and S. Spiekermann (2013). "Privacy-By-Design through systematic privacy impact assessment – presentation of a methodology." European Journal of Information Systems 23(2): 126-150.
Our empirical research on disclosure behavior has seen various foci over the years. Prof. Spiekermann originally started to work on privacy in 2001 when discovering the Privacy Paradox during her Ph.D. Since then she has focused – especially in co-operation with Jana Korunovska - on interface entropy in users’ disclosure behavior as well as users’ challenges in processing privacy notices. Also peoples’ valuation of their personal data has been an important research stream in the past years
Attention as a Valuable Resource
In 2015 Jana Korunovska, Kathrin Bednar and Sarah Spiekermann started working on attention as a resource. Earlier work of Prof. Spiekermann with Prof. Alessandro Acquisti (Carnegie Mellon University, USA) preceded this effort to understand the effects of interruptions on peoples’ online purchase behavior. Since then the emphasis in this work has shifted and we have started working on how peoples’ attention is compromised when using digital systems. We also completed a book on Nourishing Attention to appear in 2017, which looks into how IT systems could be built with more attention awareness.
Spiekermann, S., Korunovska J. (2018). „Nourishing Attention“. Facultas Verlag, Wien