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Ethical technology: an everyone’s responsibility

February 15, 2023

A recent survey of 1,794 business and technical professionals who are actively involved in either developing, managing, or consuming emerging technologies has found that it is critical that companies take the lead in developing ethical frameworks, standards, and leading practices for emerging technologies. 

“Doing so may not only enable them to avoid potential misuses and negative retribution but could also position them as competitive and socially responsible businesses.”, report says.

According to the paper released by Deloitte, creating safe/secure technology is the most important factor (20%) to both organizations and individuals. Survey respondents also perceive their organizations as caring more about the principle of responsibility in emerging tech (16%) than they do as individuals (14%). Personally, the respondents care more about creating robust/reliable technology (17%), given feedback from internal and external stakeholders.

Key takeaways:

Companies and employees must align on ethical principles — Employees can become confused; and their own ethical beliefs can weaken if a company lacks a framework.

Principles should be co-created by companies and employees — Once companies and employees align on principles, these principles should be co-created by companies and employees in an open and flexible spirit to help ensure adoption.

Companies need to understand how employee and consumer principles change — When new principles emerge, companies need to understand why this is happening and appropriately incorporate or at least acknowledge these changes. It shows that you’re listening.

Based on the findings and insights, some steps are suggested:

  1. Define how your company approaches ethics
  2. Select ethical principles relevant to your company’s use of emerging tech
  3. Embed identified ethical principles within your company
  4. Consistently review/adapt principles to ensure ethical behavior throughout rapidly evolving tech advancements

Source: Deloitte US