Lifestream, Tweets

More on the ethics of netnography. In this slide presentation, Kozinets highlights the difficulty of separating text and data from the person who generated it and asserts that, therefore, online research has to be considered research of human subjects rather than research of social space, and relevant ethical standards applied. Such considerations include attending to the possibility of ‘decloaking’ or ‘cracking’ anonymised data.

In conversation with my brother, who works in digital health research, over the last week, he suggested that a core problem is that many of the people involved in collecting data are unaware of how to crack anonymised data, and therefore underestimate the risk of this. Protecting privacy is complicated.