Call for papers


[New] Normal Technology Ethics: Moving technology ethics at the forefront of Society, Organisations and Governments 

La Rioja University, Department of Economics and Business (Logroño, Spain) in collaboration with Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Business Management (Tarragona, Spain); Centre for Computing and Social Responsability (De Montfort University, Leicester, UK) and Centre for Business Information Ethics (Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan)

Logroño, Spain

June 30 - July2, 2021

| General info | Submission Guidelines | Important Dates | Tracks | Submit your paper | Contact |

General information

The ETHICOMP series of conferences fosters an international community of scholars and technologists, including computer professionals and business professionals from industry. Since 1995, conferences have been held across Europe and Asia, with our main events coming every 18 months. ETHICOMP considers computer ethics conceived broadly to include philosophical, professional, and practical aspects of the field. 

Uncertainty is reaching new heights in our current Society. The digital transformation is accelerating even more due to the pandemic, penetrating into the “digital DNA” of individuals and organisations. For example, using AI to predict the pandemic, tracking systems to manage the spread of the virus, the use of eCommerce to avoid risky personal contacts, videoconferencing to keep family and friend relationships, eLearning to ensure safety when teaching and learning at all levels, teleworking from home, and the key role of digital technologies in the emerging Green New Deal. All of these digital technologies are operating at the core of societal challenges nowadays. A key question is whether ICT ethical concerns are at the forefront of the transformational agenda of the new normal? At ETHICOMP 2021, we especially invite scholarship and profesionals that addresses technological ethical concerns that should be included in the transformational agenda of Society, Organisations and Governments.

We invite submissions that explore this theme, interpreted broadly, as well as those appropriate for more specific tracks addressing particular issues relevant to the conference theme. Questions may also be directed to the relevant Track Chairs, listed below.

Submission Guidelines

As in previous ETHICOMP conferences, only papers written in English and not published nor submitted elsewhere are eligible for submission. They will be accepted on the basis of an extended abstract after a careful, double-blind review overseen by the Program Committee. Initial submissions should take the form of extended abstracts of 1000-1500 words and no more than 4 pages (references included ).  All accepted extended abstracts will be published in proceedings with an ISBN. If their extended abstract has been accepted, authors can voluntarily submit full papers (max. 7000 words and no more than 10 pages; acknowledgement, references, etc. included) that will be published as a book chapter in the ETHICOMP series.

Authors can choose to submit either to the general ‘open’ track or to a specific track. All submissions should take the form of extended abstracts (1000-1500 words and no more than 4 pages).

We welcome perspectives from researchers in business, government, computer science, information systems, law, media, anthropology, pedagogy, psychology, sociology, ethics, and philosophy. Interdisciplinary papers and papers from new researchers and practitioners are encouraged. Papers can involve a variety of approaches, including those with a conceptual, applied, practical, or historical focus, as well as case studies and reports on lessons learned in practice.

 Authors may submit more than one abstract but acceptance of multiple proposals by a single author or co-author will be weighed against available space to ensure we can include as many authors as is practical for ETHICOMP 2021. At least one of the authors should register and attend the conference, presenting their paper. Presentations of papers in the conference can be done in regular presentations (15 minutes of presentation + 15 minutes for questions & debate) and panels (90 minutes with up to 6 papers: 5-10 minutes for each presentation + the remainder for open questions & debate by the panel). All extended abstracts will be published in proceedings with an ISBN. Authors are also invited (but not required) to submit final full papers to be published as a book chapter in the ETHICOMP series (with an ISBN). Final papers should not exceed 7000 words and no more than 10 pages.  

Important dates

Call for papers: September 30, 2020
Abstract submission due: January 8, 2021 (*)
Reviews due (accept/accept with changes/reject): February 28, 2021 (*)
Re-submissions due (accept with changes): March 15, 2021
Final reviews due (accept with changes): March 31, 2021
Full papers submission: April 15, 2021
Conference: June 30- July 2, 2021

(*) Authors who need earlier acceptance of their papers for funding or other constraints can submit before November 16, 2020; and know decision before December 21, 2020.


1. Open Track (Kiyoshi Murata, Meiji University,; Ana María Lara Palma, Universidad de Burgos,; Yohko Orito, Ehime University,

Any topic in computer ethics, broadly construed. Topics related to the computer ethics field, conceived broadly, to include philosophical, professional, and practical aspects of the field.

2. Tracking technologies and contact-tracing apps (Katleen Gabriels, Maastricht University,

This track welcomes papers that address ethical (e.g. privacy; power relations) and/or philosophical (e.g. identity) and/or conceptual (e.g. datafication) issues related to contemporary tracking technologies (apps, wearables, other IoT devices, …), including contact-tracing apps that were at the core of many discussions during the COVID-19 crisis. These technologies can involve both self-tracking (e.g. quantified self; lifelogging) or other-tracking, i.e. tracking of individuals by others, or interactions between self- and other-tracking.  Specific cases of other-tracking technologies are, for instance, medical doctors tracking patients (e.g. telemonitoring); adultery apps and spyware for romantic partners; parental monitoring devices; employee tracking at the workplace (e.g. ‘Humanyze’); student tracking at colleges and universities; and so forth." 

3. Ethics of Emerging Technologies (Mario Arias-Oliva, Complutense University of Madrid,; and Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo, La Rioja University,; Ramón Alberto Carrasco González, Complutense University of Madrid,; Jorge De Andrés Sánchez, Universitat Rovira i Virgili,

Disruptive technologies are transforming the way we live. Robots, Cyborgs, Blockchain technologies, IoT or Artificial Intelligence have increased their presence during the current pandemic. Ethical dimensions of all those technologies should be in the centre of both their development and society development. Unfortunately, ethics is not at the core of emerging technologies development and commercialization. In this track the aim is to analyze ethical challenges and consequences of emerging and disruptive technologies in the new normal, debating how organizations, individuals and society integrate ethical values in future technology. This track is open to any ethical concern of emerging technologies. Both theoretical and empirical works will be welcome in this track.

 4. Beyond and Between Codes of Ethics (Dr .Kirsten Wahlstrom, University of South Australia,

At ETHICOMP 2020, Simon Rogerson framed a problem regarding the ICT profession’s codes of ethics: while valuable for establishing and upholding the ethical practices of members of the ICT professional societies, the majority of ICT work is conducted by people working outside the professional sphere of influence (Rogerson, 2020). The pervasiveness of ICT work is acknowledged in IFIP’s updated code which is, “… a response to the degree to which the work of ICT professionals in the 21st century influences and directs all aspects of society.” Furthermore, recent effort has been invested in updating the ICT profession’s codes of ethics (examples include the ACS’s and the ACM’s codes) and in suggesting diverse ethical guidelines relevant to implementing AI, with Jobin, Ienca, and Vayena (2019) identifying 84 unique documents. This track seeks to respond to Rogerson’s problem by inviting authors to consider or describe opportunities for work beyond and between codes of ethics. Authors may wish to respond to the following topics, however any topic related to this track’s overall theme is encouraged
• Engaging laypeople and children in the consideration of ICT ethics
• Establishing inter-cultural ICT ethics commitments
• Motivating ethical ICT work
• Describing risks arising from the abundance of ethical principles.

5. What Will Cybersecurity's “New Normal” Look Like? (Shalini Kesar, Southern Utah University,; Sabina Szymoniak, Czestochowa University of Technology,

Recent global pandemic has impacted organizations where they have faced challenges and uncertainties that they have not faced before. In more than one way, this has led technology leaders to rethink and prioritize their standards within businesses while minimizing, managing and mitigating the new risks. Understandably their response has also included redefining the new “standards” whether it be online stores, schools, remote work culture, or healthcare. In 2020, one of the biggest concerns is the dramatic increase of cyber breaches. Some of the alarming statistics indicate: Coronavirus blamed for 238% rise in attacks on banks; 80% of firms have seen an increase in cyberattacks; 27% of attacks target banks or healthcare; Phishing attempts rose 600% since end of February; and 394,000 unique IP addresses attacked UK business. This new normal is precipitating a new normal in cybersecurity too. Organizations’ will have to embrace new tools, processes and strategies and be far more agile than ever before because threats, risks, and vulnerabilities are increasing. It includes trustworthy IoT, privacy rights for employees, increasing number of cyber breaches as organizations address the fallout from the global impact of COVID-19.

6. Space as the new frontier of ICT ethics (Dr. Marco Crepaldi,  United Nations Systema Staff College, )

Private engagement in space has reached unprecedented levels, from the launch of constellations comprising thousands of satellites to the efforts toward asteroid mining. Billionaires have captured the collective imagination, and space has risen - once again - to the forefront. International competition among States is increasing, with new players developing space capabilities. However, little attention is paid to the ethics of technological developments in outer space. This track aims at closing the gap between ICT ethics and the new wave of space activities. 
This last frontier of humanity raises several ethical challenges; two stand out. The first is the preservation of space as a natural resource, from morally acceptable solutions for the conjunction avoidance problem, to the equitable allocation of radio and orbital slots.  The second relates to the fact that a significant part of our ICT infrastructure relies on services provided from space such as GPS and 5G. These concerns are exacerbated by the lack of a modern international legal framework governing space activities. Contributions dealing with the ethics of space activities from the ICT ethics perspective are encouraged. However, submissions dealing with the ethical and moral hurdles of humanity's last frontier are also welcomed.

 7. Ethical trends and Technological opportunities in the environmental and social sustainability after Covid-19  (Dr. Ana Isabel Jiménez-Zarco,  Open University of Catalunya,; Dr. Monica Cerdan Chiscano, Open University of Catalunya;,  Pilar Martinez Ruiz, Castilla La Mancha University,; Alicia Izquierdo Yustas, Burgos University,

Covid19 crisis has evidenced how ethics is a stronger asset for companies. the Post-pandemic customers have changed their mind and now are more sensitive to environmental and social issues, especially when forecast point to a future uncertain economic and employment situation 
After the fall of a large number of sectors, this new reality highlight companies need to redesign their competitive strategies focus on the environmental and social sustainability, but also reinforcing the technology role as a mean to achieve them. Technology 4.0 and marketing 4.0 could be a solution in an industry which search both more efficient and economic production processes and new relational channels where offer consumer and extra-value proposition value based on trust, security, ecologic, and social diversity integration. There is a call for companies willing to redesign new practices based on ethics, technology-use, and sustainability since the customer is increasingly demanding more share value in the market. This crisis brings a unique opportunity for companies to get the corporate social responsibility in those lines of action."

8. Co-creating sustainable ICT future through education (Gosia Plotka, Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology & De Montfort University,; Marta Czerwonka, Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology,; Gonçalo Costa,; Alireza Amrollahi, Macquarie Business School,

In 2013, just after the financial crisis, an article from the Wall Street Journal provoked a debate about the purpose of teaching computer ethics. The argument was that since people started to financially feel more comfortable, the focus could shift towards other important things. Using the same principles, we highlight the question of whether we need to wait for another crisis with a similar attitude or, shall we embed co-creation, proactivity and ethically thinking beforehand. Due to an increasing number of ICT developments, particularly during the recent Covid-19 pandemic, many scholars suggest paying greater attention to those who potentially may be left behind (i.e. those who have less technological capabilities or even not born yet). This refers to increased attention to the sustainability of ICT development that requires developing cognitive empathy to respect other people's perspectives. We profoundly believe in such a definition of education. Education of computer professionals has to be seminal to embrace contextual diversity, complexity and uniqueness. We would like to invite everyone to share their views and experience on the following non-exclusive list of topics: (1) ethical dilemmas of ICT professionals; (2) CivicTech; (3) applied computer ethics; (4) education for sustainable development; (5) teal organisations.

9. Marketing, Technology and Ethics   (Jesús García de Madariaga, Universidad Complutense de Madrid,; Cristina Olarte Pascual, La Rioja University; Eva Reinares, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos,; Joaquín Sánchez Herrera, Complutense University of  Madrid,

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the presence of technology in everyday life and new technologies have entered directly into the way we manage personal and professional aspects of our lives. From a positive point of view, available information in digital format (blogs, social networks, etc.) helps us to optimize the process of selecting the best products and make better decisions. Potential benefits are e.g. cost savings, immediacy, or time-saving. However, there is a controversial debate about the ethical aspects and the moral dilemmas that are generated between producer/consumer and buyer/seller. In this track, the main focus lies on moral dilemmas in marketing, such as privacy, online pricing ethics, ethics in online promotion, controversial marketing strategies, media ethics, consumer manipulation/target emotions, social media emotion detection, expectation of consumers towards digital communication, ethics and ethical standards from both the consumers and enterprises point of view and the different cultural, educational and especially political background of regions and how they can affect marketing worldwide, among others. All interested participants in this track are invited to share their ideas, experiences, and research results.

 10. Technology Readiness Level and Public Engagement: Fact or Myth?  (George Eleftherakis,  University of Sheffield,;  Maria Michali, South East European Research Centre,

With the ability of STI (Science, Technology, Innovation) to produce both benefit and harm and the consequently increasing feelings of mistrust on behalf of society, various initiatives attempt to align the development of scientific and technological products to society’s expectations and ethical codes. Present frameworks and concepts (including Responsible Research and Innovation/RRI) employ a socio-constructionist approach at a national, organizational or territorial level with reference to science and technology, and attempt to enhance their social dimension by engaging the public during the upstream, midstream or downstream stage of the research process. The target social dimension is actually seen as the proper means to create a common vision, which unifies the (tacit) assumptions, societal concerns and ethical values of the new science and technology for society (Krabbenborg and Mulder, 2015). We would like to invite scholars to share with us their theories/experiences on whether public engagement in science can prove to be realistic for succeeding in including ethical concerns to the transformational agendas of Society, Organisations and Governments. Empirical papers describing and/or assessing case studies and initiatives that engage the public to scientific processes and development of technological products are also welcome in this track.

11. Diversity and Inclusion in the New Normal (Shalini Kessar, Southern Utah University,; Teresa Pintado, Complutense University of Madrid,; Graciela Padilla Castillo,

In 2014 several tech companies including Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft, released their first diversity reports, which was not surprising: The majority of tech workers are white and male. Since then there have many reports that show how technology is helping to make companies more inclusive and diverse. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace are key factors for providing companies with a competitive advantage. We invite papers to address what does this mean in practice, and how is technology helping them to become more inclusive and diverse?

12. Surveillance of Activist Movements (William Fleischman, Villanova University,; Leah Rosenbloom, Brown University,

Dissenting voices have always been subject to state attention. Now more than ever, activist movements are tracked and censored using state and corporate controls on social media, digital communications, and Internet access. The shock of the pandemic, along with significant political and social upheaval, has presented governments with new opportunities to expand and fortify state surveillance programs. We propose a discussion of the surveillance of activist movements, past present and future; in particular, how the "new normal" might be redefined for activists to include surveillance via contact tracing, the Internet of Things, social media, drones, and stingrays.

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