Ethics Working Committee Draft. Do Not Distribute. For Review Only.

Potential Areas for Unethical Research or Misuse of Internet Data

Permalink for this paragraph 2 At various points in the research process, opportunities for unethical behaviors or acts arise, regardless of context or methodology. In reviewing the literature specific to Internet research ethics, and based on Buchanan and Ess’s study of US-based IRBs (Buchanan & Ess, 2009), we have identified the most common forms of violations that can occur in Internet research.

  • Permalink for this paragraph 3
  • Failing to respect expectations of privacy within particular contexts
  • Failure to obtain consent for research from individuals, groups, or service providers
  • Failure to adequately anonymize data
  • Using deceptive practices when unwarranted by research approach or question
  • Failure to preserve the integrity of subject/actor’s intellectual property or creative works
  • Causing or facilitating psychological, economic, informational, or reputational harms
  • Dismissing, ignoring, or violating terms of service
  • Failure to adhere to local/regional, as well as cultural laws and/or directives
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