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There’s something in your eye: ethical implications of augmented visual field devices

Marty J. Wolf (Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minnesota, USA)
Frances S. Grodzinsky (Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA)
Keith W. Miller (College of Education, University of Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, USA)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 8 August 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the ethical and social impact of augmented visual field devices (AVFDs), identifying issues that AVFDs share with existing devices and suggesting new ethical and social issues that arise with the adoption of AVFDs.

Design/methodology/approach

This essay incorporates both a philosophical and an ethical analysis approach. It is based on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, philosophical notions of transparency and presence and human values including psychological well-being, physical well-being, privacy, deception, informed consent, ownership and property and trust.

Findings

The paper concludes that the interactions among developers, users and non-users via AVFDs have implications for autonomy. It also identifies issues of ownership that arise because of the blending of physical and virtual space and important ways that these devices impact, identity and trust.

Practical implications

Developers ought to take time to design and implement an easy-to-use informed consent system with these devices. There is a strong need for consent protocols among developers, users and non-users of AVFDs.

Social implications

There is a social benefit to users sharing what is visible on their devices with those who are in close physical proximity, but this introduces tension between notions of personal privacy and the establishment and maintenance of social norms.

Originality/value

There is new analysis of how AVFDs impact individual identity and the attendant ties to notions of ownership of the space between an object and someone’s eyes and control over perception.

Keywords

Citation

Wolf, M.J., Grodzinsky, F.S. and Miller, K.W. (2016), "There’s something in your eye: ethical implications of augmented visual field devices", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 214-230. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-10-2015-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited