آیا RFID ها (دستگاه شناسه فرکانس رادیویی) معضل جدید اخلاقی برای کتابداران و متخصصان اطلاع رسانی فراهم می نمایند؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1649||2011||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Information Management, Volume 31, Issue 6, December 2011, Pages 546–555
This paper provides an analysis of the current and potential ethical implications of RFID technology for the library and information professions. These issues are analysed as a series of ethical dilemmas, or hard-to-resolve competing ethical obligations, which the librarian has in relationship to information objects, library users and the wider social and political environment or state. A process model of the library is used as a framework for the discussion to illustrate the relationship between the different participants in the library system and it is argued that ethical analysis should involve the identification of future developments as well as current issues. The analysis shows that RFIDs do currently pose some dilemmas for librarians in terms of the conflicts between efficient service, privacy of users and an obligation to protect the safety of society as a whole, and that these are likely to become more problematic as the technology develops. This paper is part 2 of a series of papers on RFIDs and the library and information professions.
This paper tackles the question of whether RFIDs should be of ethical concern to librarians and information professionals and, in particular, whether they raise any new ethical dilemmas or significantly change the nature of some already existing dilemmas. We frame the question as one of dilemmas since in many cases the scenarios which librarians encounter involve competing and irreconcilable obligations to which there is no clear-cut ethical solution. The role of technology in raising new ethical issues, in particular the invasion of privacy, has been discussed in the academic literature for some time and, increasingly, is impinging on public awareness as can be seen by recent actions by Facebook and Google to improve its privacy protection (Ionescu, 2010 and Timson, 2010). Thus far, in terms of information storage, search and retrieval, most public concern seems to be focussed on networked electronic systems rather than on the new possibilities which RFIDs may create for tracking the lending and use of physical information objects. Is this a correct assumption and, if not, what kind of ethical questions are raised for the librarian in terms of safeguarding the privacy of library users? This is an important question to clarify both in terms of accurately educating and informing library users, and also for librarians in order that the profession can be clear as to how to deal with any potential new ethical challenges which RFID technologies may bring. First, we provide a description of RFIDs and outline the potential new privacy issues which they may raise. Second, we provide a model of what a library is, in terms of a process perspective (Gibb, Buchanan, & Shah, 2006), as a framework in which to analyse the potential impact of RFIDs. Third, we explore what an ethical dilemma is and discuss some approaches to solving such dilemmas, one of which is establishing the primary role of the moral agent. The impact of RFIDs in terms of creating new value conflicts in the context of medicine has been discussed by Rodota and Capurro (2005), and ethical dilemmas concerning RFIDs in the consumer context have been discussed by Wasieleski and Gal-Or (2008). We argue that this approach can usefully be developed and extended to the library and information context, and that the ethical framework in this case can be modelled as a number of ethical dilemmas. Fourth, we examine the role of the moral agent, in this case the librarian, and explore whether this helps to resolve the dilemmas. We then examine some of the dilemmas in terms of competing obligations which the librarian has to different participants in the library process (including information objects) and, in the case of each dilemma, analyse the extent to which RFIDs may or may not change the nature of the dilemma. Finally we weigh up the evidence from this analysis to determine whether RFIDs do change the ethical context in which librarians deal with competing obligations (both now and potentially in the future). In our conclusions we discuss the ethical implications for the profession irrespective of whether the answer is “more of the same” or “new type of threat”. This will then provide a context for our future work on the use and efficacy of ethical and management guidelines (National Information Standards Organization1) for the profession in terms of providing advice on the use of new technologies which may pose ethical dilemmas.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
From our discussion so far we can conclude that RFIDs pose some new threats to privacy in terms of providing one more way for information about library users to be collected. It is not yet clear whether this is a radically different means of collecting information, or just one additional source, but as we suggested earlier, it seems prudent to be alert to ways in which it could be developed, as is highlighted by Palmer (2009), discussed in Section 2. At present the ways to reduce this threat are mainly technology or system based in terms of limiting the range of RFIDs and also providing safeguards that data from a RFID cannot be linked to data on a LMS, in line with the ALA Guidelines. This means that it is not possible to connect information from an information object to a user by exploiting the RFID unless one also has access to the LMS. Were it not for these safeguards then RFIDs would definitely pose a privacy threat. Should the library and information professions regard these as adequate safeguards? Should we be concerned that future developments, either in technology and/or the political climate, will render these safeguards ineffective or even redundant? Wasieleski and Gal-Or (2008) in their discussion of Lessig's (1999) cyberspace framework argue that technological solutions to privacy are always problematic because they require trust from the user that the technology is in fact secure. The problem here is that most users do want privacy but most groups who may wish to gain access to information on users have much to gain from the information and also superior power and technology to gain access than the users have to prevent access. It is not an equal relationship and for it to allay concerns would require a level of trust that not all users will have. There are also legal safeguards, varying from state to state, for the protection of privacy for individuals. These all, however, will have some scenarios in which it is legal to invade that privacy (e.g. reasonable suspicion of ill intent or guilt). Our main question, however, is whether RFIDs raise new ethical dilemmas for librarians and information professionals. If they are completely secure then some may argue there is no cause for concern. Librarians need also to be aware that this security operates at different levels architecturally: there is the security of the chip and the servers (technology); there is the security of the application (access rights, etc.); there is the security of the data (integrity, encryption); and there is security of the process (completeness, reliability, etc.). None of these is inherently 100% secure and the librarian must be aware of how and where these might be breached and that there are obligations to take appropriate steps to address the threats and mitigate the risks. So are we really looking at the question of the potential role of librarians when these safeguards to uphold security may break down either on a technological or political level, or in some way be perceived to fail? Given that this will almost inevitably happen, at least in some cases, is the development of new technology, in this case RFIDs, worth the risk? Are the benefits more important than the risks and who should make that decision? The benefits of RFIDs are the improvement of service in terms of speed and accuracy for the library user and the librarian. An effective library service requires the accurate collection of data on information objects and library users. At present there are some technological and legal frameworks in place to reduce the likelihood that this data will be used for any other purpose than the efficient running of the library. Connections between users and the information they consult will not normally be given to third parties. The ethical dilemmas may come to the fore in the decision making process about whether a particular scenario is indeed one in which the principle of privacy should take second place to another principle. It would appear that in dealing with information and library issues, these dilemmas can change in nature particularly quickly, as we are dealing with evidence and information as it is collected and assessed, rather than with a fixed situation as, for example, in Kant's liar case. In that case we already know the caller is a murderer and we already know where the victim is. The question, at least in terms of Kantian ethics, is should we tell a lie (a bad action) to prevent a murder (another bad action)? Privacy and surveillance issues, as potentially facilitated by RFIDs as well as other technologies, within the context of Kant's liar dilemma concern identifying scenarios in which trying to find out if someone may be a murderer (or indeed a victim) become more important than allowing people to live their lives in relative privacy. Thus we can conclude perhaps that RFIDs provide an additional tool for data collection but that the ethical dilemmas that are raised in terms of what to do with this data are a complex mixture of the exact nature of the technology, which is developing all the time, and the wider context in which it may be used. Both of these are fast developing, hence our argument that we need to look at potential issues that may arise in the future rather than survey the current situation. The problem is for libraries that data collection is so pervasive, with RFIDs an additional factor, that it becomes difficult to be sure that the safeguards, either technological or legal, are adequate, almost certainly in the case of malicious intent (somebody wants to harm a library user) but also in terms of mistaken intent (somebody mistakenly believes a library user is guilty of a crime). A librarian then will find it difficult to be sure that if the privacy of library user is broken that it is indeed to honour a higher ethical principle than privacy in that case. We conclude that RFID technology certainly raises new ethical questions, some of which are very complex dilemmas, for the library and information professions and also that the professions needs to have perhaps a better ethical policy framework to deal with and anticipate these new challenges. In our next paper we look at different approaches to the development and use of ethical guidelines in the profession and whether current models are still adequate in the context of fast changing technology.