Ethics does not belong on the wall! Ethical framework for the use of location data

Frank Verschoor and Emily Daemen

Playlists: 'MCH2022' videos starting here / audio

The use of data is accelerating, not only owing to increasing technical possibilities like AI and earth observation, but also as a result of crises such as COVID-19 and climate change which accelerate the deployment of data and technology. This is happening on a small and local scale, as well as on a large and global one. Precisely because these data are potentially personal, and its use is becoming commonplace, it is urgent to internalize shared principles for the responsible use of data to achieve greater common value, better data and better products. These are preferably intrinsic principles that guarantee the safety and privacy of people, our social values and human dignity. In this talk we discuss an ethical framework for the use of location data. Together with the crowd we will investigate several dilemma's in which location data play an important role. How far can you go? Which values are more important? These are the kind of questions we will present and discuss.

The ethical framework is designed for the use of (personal) location data.

How do we ensure that the technology we develop is at the service of society? How do we respect shared public values and the individual rights when developing applications made possible by location data? With the discussions that have erupted around apps for monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that the answers to these questions are not crystal clear.

The purpose of the ethical reference is to inspire data users, but also policy makers and decision makers to help them collect, use and apply personal location data responsibly. Location data are all data that show where people are located and how they move, whether or not they can be traced. This data can, for example, be collected via mobile apps.

In this talk we discuss the different values that are conflicting in the use of location data. We present several dilemma's and cases and will involve the public actively in discussing these dilemma's.

You can find a concept of the ethical framework at
In our work looking for responsible use of spatial data we are working together with W3C: