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Social and ethical aspects of digital identities. Towards a value sensitive identity management (DigIDeas)
Start date: Oct 1, 2008, End date: May 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Digital identity management concerns the control of digitized information pertaining to a person. This type of information is usually referred to as `personal data’, or ‘personally identifiable information’. With digitisation and automation processes pervading virtually all aspects and domains of society, the routine registration of personal identifiable data is increasing exponentially. The implied risks and challenges to fundamental rights like privacy and non-discrimination are recognized on the highest policy levels, but as of today still poorly understood or analyzed. In view of the fact that ‘identity’ is also a key concept in contemporary social theory, and conceptualisations of the relation between technology and society, ethics and normativity, a field of enquiry emerges at the crossroads of contemporary theoretical, technological and societal developments representing opportunities for frontier research. The overall aims of the project are to increase understanding of the social and ethical aspects of digital identity management (IDM), to further theorising the concept of identity, and to contribute to the quality and social/ethical acceptability of technological developments. The project will achieve these goals by bringing recent insights gained from several disciplines (science and technology studies, surveillance studies, social and technology philosophy, computer ethics) to bear on actual developments in digital identity management, thus exploring novel ways to identify and articulate the issues concerned. With a series of interdisciplinary studies focussing on different application areas of IDM, we intend to produce more fine-grained knowledge of the ways IDM is implicated in contemporary transformations of identity. The programme will involve three complementary PhD projects, and one integrative postdoc project, thus achieving a strong concentration of groundbreaking knowledge on a set of fast emerging intellectual and societal problems.
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