The ARF Ethics Initiative launched at CONSUMERxSCIENCE in March of this year. A Town Hall meeting in April drew 300+ participants. This conversation will continue today with Tim Wu. The decision on rescinding the ARF David Ogilvy Award from Cambridge Analytica is still pending as the facts are still murky, and there is an ongoing investigation. The ARF is empirical at our core, and we are reluctant to rush to judgement.
Due process and evaluation of evidence is important – however, the ARF has proceeded in writing our own code of ethics with a focus on PII and data privacy. The ARF Code of Ethical Research Conduct includes principles of honesty, integrity, transparency, chain of trust, applied to research participants, clients, profession, and public. Sector-specific codes include: passive behavioral data, neuro, sensor and biometric data, location-based data.
The draft of this code started with a review of 40 different codes of ethics from associations and others. The review of these industry codes raised the question of whether these companies had done any consumer research on the issue. The ARF feels that this might be a good avenue to explore. A survey of American attitudes toward PII and digital data privacy was sent out.