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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.
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    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    The ethics of being the subject of research (3)

    Information Week has a feature, Five Ways To Keep Your Google Searches Private, published in the wake of the recent US Justice Department seeking search data from Google, Yahoo, MSN, and America Online. It offers useful tips to stop information about your searching activities being gathered, and raises the question - in my mind, at least - about the ethics of such activities. All universities and research organisations have to examine the ethics underlying any piece of research and UNESCO has launched its Global Ethics Observatory. And yet ... information about our every Web activity is being gathered and used. There are issues about personal privacy, and human rights to be considered. Should we be worried?

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