Get Published | Subscribe | About | Write for Our Blog    

Bioethics Events

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 - Friday, September 11th
Event Tile: CFP: Smart Devices: Software, User Agreements and Ownership Rights
LOCATION: Manchester, United Kingdom
CONTACT: Joseph T F Roberts

Deadline for Submissions 29th May 2020

User agreements allow manufacturers to significantly limit people’s right to use the devices they own. As smart devices permeate more and more industries what rights we should have over them will become an increasingly pressing concern (Thomas 2018 p. 242, Perzanowski and Schultz 2016).

The aim of this workshop is to inquire into whether limitations on people’s ownership rights over smart (medical) devices are morally permissible or not. We invite contributions addressing questions including, but not limited to:

• If these prohibitions are permissible, what the reasons are for upholding these limitations on use? Are some ways of enforcing them permissible and others not?
• What are the benefits of moving away from a sale/ownership model towards a licensing model for technology? Are there ways of achieving these goals without limiting user’s rights?
• If these limitations are impermissible, why are they impermissible? What can be done to address the situation?
• Is property the best framework for addressing these issues? Are there other ways of protecting people’s rights to use objects?
• Is the problem with user agreements that users are unlikely to have given genuine informed consent to them?
• Should users be granted greater access to the code their device runs? If so, why and under what conditions?
• Is the case for granting users greater rights over their devices stronger for some types of devices (e.g. medical devices, security devices, life-saving devices) than others (e.g. smartphones)?
• Are limitations on use more worrying for attached and implanted devices than for devices we interact with less?
• Is it permissible for manufacturers to cease to offer updates? If so, when?
• Should users be granted a ‘right to repair’ smart devices? If so, what would a right to repair entail?

We are hosting a panel at the Mancept Workshops in Political Philosophy at the University of Manchester on the 9th-11th of September.