Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (PRIO/UiO) and Nathaniel A. Raymond (Harvard) just published the article Beyond the Protective Effect: Towards a Theory of Harm for Information Communication Technologies in Mass Atrocity Response in Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal.
Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) are now being employed as a standard part of mass atrocity response, evidence collection, and research by non-governmental organizations, governments, and the private sector. Deployment of these tools and techniques occur for a variety of stated reasons, most notably the ostensible goal of ‘protecting’ vulnerable populations. However, these often experimental applications of ICTs and digital data are occurring in the absence of agreed normative frameworks and accepted theory to guide their ethical and responsible use. This article surveys the current state-of-the-art ICT use in mass atrocity response and research to identify harms and hazards inherent in the use of ICT-centric approaches in mass atrocity producing environments. Sandvik and Raymond propose an initial theory of harm for evaluating the potential risks and impacts of these applications as a critical component of developing ethical standards for the responsible use of ICTs in the mass atrocity response context.You can access the article here.