Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Ethics awareness among stakeholders in a digital technology research project. Exploring designers and participants’ relationship whith ethical issues and procedures

Fausto J. Sainz de Salces, Rhiannon Thomas, Javier Bustamante Donas


In this paper we present the perceptions of those engagedin a digital research project. We explored participants’ ethical knowledge,understanding and feelings about the whole process. We also tried toimplement a plan in order to see if certain proactive actions will benefitthe understanding of ethical issues among those stakeholders.The investigation presented here explored the need for ethical awarenessamong stakeholders in technology research projects.1 The Project tried to overcome the existing accessibility barriers faced by people unfamiliarwith ICT, people with disabilities and older people when interactingwith Public Digital Terminals, such as ATMs and Ticket VendingMachines. As part of the research an investigation was conducted aboutthe ethical issues that rose on the use of digital technologies and, moreimportantly, about stakeholders ethical issues awareness.In this report the results from the field research carried out on ethicalissues are presented. At the beginning of the project a need for researchinto ethical awareness among project stakeholders was identified. As partof the project´s legal and ethical awareness and compliance, a limitedresearch was carried out on ethical issues. The research carried out encompassedtesting the validity and adequacy of the information providedon a purpose-made guide that also included more ethical awareness questionsto explore.During the testing sessions carried out in the pilot the questionnairewas presented to volunteers. Another questionnaire was presented todevelopers, and to the APSIS4 all project personnel. The expresion ofethical concerns was also encouraged from both the staff working in theproject and volunteers participating in the trials.Results showed that the information provided on the documentationwas adequate and, likewise, that both volunteers and consortium personnelwere aware of volunteers’ rights and personnel obligations.

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