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The Ethics of Domestic Drones: An Ethical Evaluation of the Use of Surveillance-Capable Unmanned Aerial Systems in Civil Contexts

Jansen, P.H. (2015) The Ethics of Domestic Drones: An Ethical Evaluation of the Use of Surveillance-Capable Unmanned Aerial Systems in Civil Contexts.

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Abstract:This thesis contributes to the ethical understanding of the civil use of surveillance-capable unmanned aerial systems, or “drones”. I have tried to answer the following questions: (1) To what extent is the civil use of drones that are capable of public surveillance ethically justified in light of its potential effects on privacy and other ethical values? (2) What ethical issues need to be considered in efforts to improve the ethical justifiability of the civil use of such drones? To answer these questions, I have used the “anticipatory technology ethics” approach by Philip Brey as an overarching methodology. I have also used the “contextual integrity” approach by Helen Nissenbaum, the “seven types of privacy” approach by Finn, Wright & Friedewald, and the “proportional balancing” approach by Aharon Barak. The general conclusion of my research is that the civil use of surveillance-capable drones is, in principle, largely justified. Only the civil use of so-called biomimetic spy drones was judged to be categorically unethical. The ethical acceptability for specific drone applications is something of a mixed bag. These conclusions on ethical acceptability are not to understate the general severity of the ethical issues concerning civil drone use, which was found to be considerable.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/69031
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