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Aspects of Law and Ethics Related to Technology

First Female Chair of IFIP Computers and Social Accountability Working Group

February 2004

At a recent meeting of the International Federation for Information Processing working group on Computers and Social Accountability (WG9.2), Dr Penny Duquenoy (Senior Lecturer, School of Computing Science) was elected Chair.

Penny joined the Working Group whilst pursuing her PhD at Middlesex (1998), and has been an active member since that time. She will be relinquishing the role of Secretary of the group (held for the last 3 years) to take the Chair.

IFIP was established in 1960 under the auspices of UNESCO to represent the national computer societies (such as the British Computer Society in the UK), with the principal aims to "foster international cooperation, stimulate research and development, encourage education and disseminate information". It's mission is to "be the leading, truly international, nonpolitical organization that encourages and assists in the development, exploitation and application of IT for the benefit for all people". The Working Groups, together with the Special Interest Groups, provide a forum for the discussion of topics that are the preoccupation of professionals in the field of computing today.
Over the past year the Working Group on Computers and Social Accountability has collaborated on the following projects:

  • The Second International Summer School of IFIP WG9.2 "Risks and Challenges of the Network Society" (in cooperation with WG9.6: Security, Karlstad University, Sweden, and HumanIT)
  • World Information Technology Forum 2003 (WITFOR): Commission 8 - "Social and Ethical Aspects".

Penny was actively involved in both events (Programme Committee, and Rapporteur, respectively).

In addition, WG9.2 presents a bi-annual award for "an outstanding contribution to the awareness of social implications of information and communication technology". In January, WG9.2 were pleased to personally present the award to Professor Ian Witten, of Waikato University, New Zealand for his work on Digital Libraries. Professor Witten has long had links with the School of Computing Science as an Associate Professor. It was an additional honour to welcome the Ambassador for New Zealand to the Award Ceremony.

Professor Norman Revell, Dean of School of Computing Science emphasised the status and importance of IFIP Technical Committees and Working Groups:

"IFIP is the only truly international body representing all parts of the IT community. It has a long pedigree going back to the 1960s.

Much of its business is conducted through its working groups and technical committees which operate across national boundaries and organization sectors.

The output of these groups and committees has done much to shape established practice and will continue to do so. In particular Governments and large IT companies are influenced by IFIP in setting their own strategic agendas.

It is a great honor for Penny to be appointed."

Publications resulting from the association with IFIP WG9.2:

Jacques Berleur, Penny Duquenoy and Diane Whitehouse (Eds.) Ethics and the Governance of the Internet, IFIP-SIG9.2.2, September 1999, IFIP Press, Laxenburg - Austria.

Penny Duquenoy and Diane Whitehouse, (2000). "The process of ethics", in Computers and Networks in the Age of Globalization, Leif Block Rasmussen, Colin Beardon, Silvio Munari (Eds.). Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Penny Duquenoy, Jan Holvast, Simone Fischer-Heubner, Albin Zuccato (Eds.) "Risks and Challenges in the Network Society", Proceedings of the IFIP Summer School, Karlstad, Sweden, August 2003. Forthcoming.

Penny Duquenoy (2003) "Models for Internet Ethics" in "Risks and Challenges in the Network Society", Proceedings of the IFIP Summer School, Karlstad, Sweden, August 2003. Forthcoming.

Penny Duquenoy and Vijay Masurkar (2003) "Surrounded by intelligence …" in "Risks and Challenges in the Network Society", Proceedings of the IFIP Summer School, Karlstad, Sweden, August 2003. Forthcoming.

Jan Holvast, Duquenoy P., Whitehouse, D. "The Information Society and its Consequences: lessons from the past" in Perspectives and Policies on ICT in Society, published by IFIP TC9. Forthcoming.

February 2004