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Updates from the last Data Ethics Expert Group meeting 20.04.2020

The main part of the meeting consisted in an update regarding the work for the new “Data Ethics Codex” of the Alliance. Markus Christen clarified that the Codex is actually a whole “bundle” of the following documents:

– Codex Overview Poster 
– A “Foundation” document outlining structure and values 
– A “Recommendation” document that includes the concrete recommendations including cases outlining how one can implement those recommendations 
– A “Implementation guide” outlining how the Codex can be integrated into the business 
processes of companies 
– A “Background” document providing further information for interested persons like e.g. relation of the Codex to other codes. 

Members of the expert group provided final input to the “Foundation” and “Recommendation” document that now will be finalized. Members of the expert group will provide input to the case descriptions that will be finalized in the next 4-6 weeks. 

A graphics designer is currently working on a standardized graphics language that will be used for all documents. It also has been decided that the documents (with exception of the “Background” document that will only be available in English) will be made available in German, English, French and Italian. The documents will be made public using a Common Creative License (non-commercial use 
only, no changes allowed).

The dissemination is planned for fall 2020. The expert group is currently evaluating optimal dissemination channels.

Other points discussed in the meeting were the following:

Data Ethics training: Christian Hauser presents his idea of creating a data ethics training. This should be realized in an Innsuisse funded project in cooperation with companies. SBB is already on board.

How to set up a data board: Karin Lange reports about the Mobiliar attempts to collect knowledge and best practices on how to set up a data board in companies (e.g. whom to involve, which questions to discuss, …). First contacts have been made (SAP, Swisscom, Cornelia Diethelm).

Common activity of “Data Ethics” Expert Group and “Data Sharing” Expert Group of the Alliance: The Data Ethics Expert Group will make contact to the data sharing group for exploring potential collaborations. 

Data Ethics and Data Sharing for fighting against COVID-19: Michele Loi gave a short pitch about the moral issues in data-based approaches for fighting COVID-19 (in particular contact tracing). What are the ethical issues for or against such attempts, and what would be ethical requirements for creating such solutions? He argues that the collected expertise of our group is exceptionally suited to discuss this issue. It is planned to perform a survey within the Expert Group for collecting the most important issues around this topic.