Ethical issues of 'morality mining': moral identity as a focus of data mining

Markus Christen*, Mark Alfano, Endre Bangerter, Daniel Lapsley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


When data mining aims to disclose information about the moral competences and values of individuals or groups - an undertaking we call 'morality mining' -, novel ethical problems emerge. These are only partially covered by the current debate on ethical data mining focusing on privacy with respect to discrimination, threats to autonomy, misuse of data, and the consequences of erroneous information. An ethics of morality mining is of particular relevance for research in social science and psychology that increasingly relies on data emerging from social networks, media portals, etc., where people act from or at least in accordance with their own values. In this conceptual contribution, we outline the basic idea of morality mining, explain why we believe that morality mining is associated with novel ethical problems, and suggest ways to address these problems that could potentially help to resolve various socio-economic problems a society or community faces.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman rights and ethics
Subtitle of host publicationconcepts, methodologies, tools, and applications
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781466664340
ISBN (Print)1466664339, 9781466664333
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

First published in 'Ethical Data Mining Applications for Socio-Economic Development' edited by Hakikur Rahman and Isabel Ramos, 2013. Information Science Reference, pp1-21.

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