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Ethical management of data in the Digital Age

Data storage and ethical management is regulated by a series of specific legal regulations, which provide for its processing and...
19 October 2022

Data storage and ethical management is regulated by a series of specific legal regulations, which provide for its processing and dissemination in different countries and regions. In addition, those of us who are part of companies and public administrations have the integrity of people at our disposal.

It is increasingly common to see corporations with values and soul, where respect and morality are directly related to maintaining people’s privacy beyond what is strictly regulated by law.  

In some cases, the code of business ethics includes the concern for the protection of internal (employees and suppliers) and external (customers and users) data, so that, above and beyond the regulations, these businesses are very concerned that there are no computer or human breaches in the handling of information. To this end, they maintain an attitude of constant prevention to avoid solving problems a posteriori.

Ethical management of data

This position requires effort, but at Smowltech we believe it is worth it, as it is a sign of respect for all people. In our case, it is essential to gain and maintain the trust of our offline and online environment. This is one of the reasons why:

  • We work with educational entities and companies that comply with the GDPR.
  • We guarantee compliance with SMOWL.

Is digital ethics possible today?

Proper conduct within the technological and virtual world necessarily involves individuals, both our education and our moral positions. 

Cyberspace offers enormous scope for committing cybercrime and even harassment, but it is also the place to demonstrate that we can be ethically responsible in the age of globalization. 

Digital Ethics

For the latter to be possible, we are used to following codes of conduct that limit free use to 100% on the Internet. And beyond regulations, as we have already indicated, we have common sense and respect for what we consider fair without being recorded on paper.  

What ethical principles exist in the European Union? 

We have spoken on our blog on several occasions about the need to regulate the rights and freedoms of human beings while maintaining compatibility with technological development and digitalization. 

IT innovation is advancing rapidly, even faster than legal regulation. This is one of the reasons why the European Union (EU) has established seven ethical principles for working with Artificial Intelligence (AI), which we comply with SMOWL proctoring.

1. AI must have human supervision. 
2. AI systems must be resistant and resilient to possible external attacks and provide contingency plans.
3. It must guarantee the privacy of citizens’ data, and citizens must have full control over them; moreover, they cannot be used to harm or discriminate against them.
4. Transparency is fundamental, so the user must know that he is working with the AI and which people are responsible for it.
5. Social diversity must be considered from its creation so that algorithms do not have direct or indirect discriminatory biases.
6. It must consider its positive social and environmental impact, i.e., it must be sustainable
7. It must present complete information for external and internal auditors.

These 7 ethical points were established for AI to comply, in addition, to three primary pillars:

  • It must respect the autonomy and rights of European citizens.
  • It must prevent any kind of discrimination.
  • It must be impartial. 
Ethical principles artificial intelligence

As we can see in the background of all the above content, the recognition of the power of citizens to decide about their data is present, a fundamental right in the GDPR.

The ethics of Horizon 2020

To bring to the table a concrete example of morale within the EU, which we know firsthand, we have to mention the Horizon 2020 (H2020) Program. 

What is H2020? The EU’s framework program for research and innovation covered the period from 2014 to 2020. It was born with the aim of funding research, technological development, demonstration, and innovation projects that would leave a legacy and add value to the EU. 

We are aware of its socially responsible profile because we have been part of the exhaustive selection process subject to ethical standards. All the companies and administrations chosen as winning projects committed to respect fundamental ethical principles and national legislation at both EU and international levels.

We outline Smowltech’s Code of Conduct

It has always been clear to us that we are a company whose goal is to make a positive impact on society through the accessibility of education. For this reason, we have designed the SMOWL online exam proctoring system respectfully since its inception. 

Ethical management of data in the Digital Age

One of the signs of our commitment to ethics is that we do not know the person’s identity in front of the computer during the test. Identification is recorded using a user code that the platform has instead of using names, surnames, or e-mail addresses. 

Concrete actions in our data protection: 

We haven’t only looked for ways to preserve the maximum privacy of people during their online connection, but we always work with the mindset of the principles of the RGPD, of which we highlight four that for us are the ABC. 

1- Data minimization: we only collect essential personal data and keep it for the time required by law. 

2- Proactivity: we are always committed to implement control and information measures. 

3- Transparency: within our Customer Service departments, we have accessible communication with clear language.  

4- Principle of integrity and security: through our Data Protection Officer. 

We go further, even within our company, not only from the outside, because we are obliged to do so by Spanish and European law. The Smowltech Ethical Behavior Manual is proof that all employees know and comply with it. 

Smowltech Ethical Behavior Manual

Earlier, we told you that we are very aware of our mission: to generate a positive impact on society. This is one of the reasons why we maintain a policy of free and anonymous communication to improve internally. Thus, employees have a mailbox where we can anonymously channel incidents, problems, doubts, or suggestions that we consider necessary to improve internally and externally

Conclusion

The ethical management of data in the digital world is more necessary than ever due to a large amount of personal information, and even classified as sensitive, that is handled by many corporations and that can go outside them.

Having third-party information available requires regulatory principles to regulate it, of course, but not only, but also moral principles play a fundamental role on the part of each individual who may access the data casually at any given time. 

Human integrity is a critical factor in respecting privacy and maintaining the location of data and its relationship with the environment, going Technology is ahead of people, so we are the people who must show honesty and respect in the face of computer gaps.  

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