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Towards an Ethical Interaction Design: the issue of including stakeholders in law-enforcement software development

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Abstract

In the public sector (particularly in the UK in light of recent reforms i.e. the Local Government Act 2000, etc.) a greater degree of accountability and public involvement or intervention has become the norm in public infrastructure projects, partially under the rubric of "stakeholder engagement". This paper seeks to discuss public involvement in a law-enforcement technology (Isis), which operates on a covert basis in the detection and prevention of child abuse activities across a number of social networking facilities. Our contribution to the development of Isis is to perform an ethics centered consultation process with stakeholders who will contribute to the design and deployment of the end software package. To that end, we have sought to develop a "Modified Participatory Design" approach, utilizing the knowledge gained from the HCI community with regards to more traditional design projects and adapting this body of work to questions of ethics, privacy, corporate and civic responsibility, monitoring and awareness issues, etc. in an effort to create a fluid and agile communication process between stakeholders and designers, thus taking account of the ethical issues around Isis as design occurs.