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Digital responsibility redefined in Denmark


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Denmark is venturing into new unexplored digital territory with eight political initiatives on data ethics that receive both industry and consumer support. One initiative requires large companies to include a statement about the company’s data ethics policy in the annual report. Another is the establishment of a data ethics label to increase transparency about a company’s data ethical standards. This paper explores these initiatives in depth and discusses the consequences. Danish companies might be able to establish higher levels of trust with customers, but with a primarily negative discourse surrounding the topic of data ethics and digital responsibility, this paper also discusses the possibility that high standards on digital responsibility may compromise the potential for further value creation and innovation through more data usage, safely and responsibly. Drawing on schools of philosophy as well as technological development, this paper proposes a framework for evaluating data ethics and privacy, not only in terms of things that happen that we do not like, but also regarding things that are not happening yet, but which ought to be, perhaps. Furthermore, the paper proposes the need for industry specific data ethical themes, and proposes five generic themes that should be used as a starting point for assessing data ethics and digital responsibility across industries.
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Keywords: assurance; consumer label; data ethics; deontological ethics; digital responsibility; digital transformation; discourse analysis; transparency; utilitarianism; value creation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Data Protection & Privacy publishes in-depth, peer-reviewed articles, case studies and applied research on all aspects of data protection, information security and privacy issues across the European Union and other jurisdictions, in the wake of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the biggest change in data protection and privacy for two decades.
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