Master
Techniques

Ethical Explorer

Published: Apr 13, 2021
Apr 2021
Trial?

The group behind Ethical OS — the Omidyar Network, a self-described social change venture created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar — has released a new iteration called Ethical Explorer. The new Ethical Explorer pack draws on lessons learned from using Ethical OS and adds further questions for product teams to consider. The kit, which can be downloaded for free and folded into cards to trigger discussion, has open-ended question prompts for several technical "risk zones," including surveillance ("can someone use our product or service to track or identify other users?"), disinformation, exclusion, algorithmic bias, addiction, data control, bad actors and outsized power. The included field guide has activities and workshops, ideas for starting conversations and tips for gaining organizational buy-in. While we've a long way to go as an industry to better represent the ethical externalities of our digital society, we've had some productive conversations using Ethical Explorer, and we're encouraged by the broadening awareness of the importance of product decisions in addressing societal issues.