Top ten tips for a digitally ethical election, according to BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT is backing a call for politicians of all persuasions to do the right thing when it comes to using data to influence voters. The UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has written a letter to all the main political parties, reminding them to use people’s data lawfully during the General Election campaign.
As the professional body for the digital industries, BCS is backing this appeal and has come up with its own top ten guidelines for a digitally ethical election that says voters should be provided with:
- a proper context for what the data is about
- where the data is gathered from
- what the data is used for
- transparency about how data is processed - including removing bias and ensuring validity
- scrutiny of the fitness of the data as far as is possible
- a mechanism for appropriate corrections or amendments if significantly flawed
- clarity on how the data has been used to support policies, or campaigns
- published data allows the public to come to objective, informed conclusions about the impact on policies/manifestos/etc.
- openness about the types of AI models used to provide personalized political messages to voters
- an explanation in general terms of the types of AI models and data analysis techniques being used – for instance machine learning algorithms used to generate campaign messages.
Director of Policy at BCS, Bill Mitchell said:
“Democracy needs properly informed citizens, who are given all the relevant facts in a form they can make sense of. It’s vital in this election our politicians show leadership by being straight with voters about the data and AI they are using to influence them.”
Data and AI can be used to micro target voters, sometimes without their knowledge. In addition, there is alarm about the rise of fake news and misinformation.
In a letter to all the main parties the Information Commissioner, Ms Denham said:
“People expect their personal information to be used in line with law, and where that doesn’t happen in digital campaigning, there’s a danger that public trust and confidence in the broader democracy process is damaged.”
Latest News from
Seven steps to reset IT management17/09/2021 14:20:00
IT management must go beyond technical expertise and focus on broader organisational leadership - according to industry experts who have developed seven digital principles for those working in business technology.
Copying China's gaming ban would harm UK children, warns BCS expert09/09/2021 14:10:00
China’s limit on computer game time risks harming children’s education and should not be introduced in the UK, according to Professor Andy Phippen, a BCS Fellow and online harms expert.
AI Breast Screening needs stronger evidence before it is safe for clinical use – says professional body for IT03/09/2021 14:10:00
Better quality research is needed before artificial intelligence can be trusted to diagnose breast cancer in the full range of UK patients, according to the professional body for the IT industry.
Government’s post-Brexit global data plans must promote ethics as well as trade31/08/2021 14:10:00
The Government’s post-Brexit global data plans to boost trade and healthcare are welcome but must also incentivise ethics and a focus on climate change, according to the professional body for IT.
Computing is the fastest growing STEM A level, says professional body for IT12/08/2021 11:20:00
Record numbers of young people have been awarded Computing A-level and are choosing to study computer science at degree level, analysis by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT reveals.
Computer Science fastest growing STEM A level, says professional body for IT11/08/2021 09:10:00
Record numbers of young people have been awarded Computer Science A-level and are choosing to study computer science at degree level, analysis by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT reveals.
Call for governments to back IT's 'powerful role' in tackling climate change10/08/2021 14:10:00
Tech can play a leading part in achieving net-zero – if there is the global political will and funding to do so, according to the professional body for IT.
Apple's CSAM plan could pave the way for tracking 'political memes and text messages'09/08/2021 14:10:00
Apple’s plans to find child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on US customers' devices ‘fundamentally break the promise of end-to-end encryption’, according to an expert at the professional body for IT.
Britain can set 'gold standard' in ethical artificial intelligence - industry report05/08/2021 14:10:00
The UK can lead the world in creating artificial intelligence that cares about humanity - provided more people from non-tech and diverse backgrounds choose to study and work in the field, according to a new BCS report.