Accessible unethical technology

A presentation at Accessibility Scotland in in Edinburgh, UK by Laura Kalbag

Accessible unethical technology

Accessible unethical technology

Not all work is created equal.

Not all work is created equal.

Ethical technology

Ethical technology

I can’t get excited about work used to exploit people.

I can’t get excited about work used to exploit people.

What defines unethical technology?

What defines unethical technology?

1: Inequality in distribution and access

1: Inequality in distribution and access

2: Lack of accountability and responsibility

2: Lack of accountability and responsibility

Misinformation

Misinformation

Profiling

Profiling

Automated decisions

Automated decisions

Targeting

Targeting

Insufficient security

Insufficient security

Accountability and responsibility means addressing the impact of our work.

Accountability and responsibility means addressing the impact of our work.

“Intent does not erase impact.”

“Intent does not erase impact.”

Ask for permission, not for forgiveness.

Ask for permission, not for forgiveness.

3 Environmental impact

3 Environmental impact

4 Business ethics

4 Business ethics

Proprietary lock-in

Proprietary lock-in

Industry monopoly

Industry monopoly

Tracking

Tracking

Profiling is enabled by tracking.

Profiling is enabled by tracking.

I block trackers.

I block trackers.

What is a tracker?

What is a tracker?

adnxs.com

adnxs.com

What are my interests according to AppNexus?

What are my interests according to AppNexus?

Data Brokers

Data Brokers

It’s not just the data brokers.

It’s not just the data brokers.

It’s for more than just advertising.

It’s for more than just advertising.

How to protect ourselves (individuals)

How to protect ourselves (individuals)

1 Avoid logging in. (If you can.)

1 Avoid logging in. (If you can.)

2 Avoid providing your real name.

2 Avoid providing your real name.

3 Use custom email addresses.

3 Use custom email addresses.

4 Avoid providing your phone number.

4 Avoid providing your phone number.

5 Use a reputable Virtual Private Network (VPN)

5 Use a reputable Virtual Private Network (VPN)

6 Use private browsing or browsing containers.

6 Use private browsing or browsing containers.

7 Log out.

7 Log out.

8 Disallow third-party cookies.

8 Disallow third-party cookies.

9 Use a tracker blocker.

9 Use a tracker blocker.

10 Use DuckDuckGo for search. (Not Google.)

10 Use DuckDuckGo for search. (Not Google.)

11 Don’t use Gmail.

11 Don’t use Gmail.

12 Don’t use Whatsapp.

12 Don’t use Whatsapp.

13 Don’t use Facebook. (For everything.)

13 Don’t use Facebook. (For everything.)

14 Seek alternatives.

14 Seek alternatives.

We’re not just tracked on the web.

We’re not just tracked on the web.

Your choices affect your friends and family.

Your choices affect your friends and family.

This is too much work.

This is too much work.

Don’t blame the victim.

Don’t blame the victim.

Our concept of privacy is being twisted.

Our concept of privacy is being twisted.

Shouldn’t we be smart about what we share publicly?

Shouldn’t we be smart about what we share publicly?

Sharing should be a social concern, not a privacy concern.

Sharing should be a social concern, not a privacy concern.

Corporations blame us for giving up our privacy.

Corporations blame us for giving up our privacy.

It is not informed consent.

It is not informed consent.

It’s not consent if there’s not a real choice.

It’s not consent if there’s not a real choice.

We’re asked to give up everything or get nothing.

We’re asked to give up everything or get nothing.

The technology we use is our new everyday things.

The technology we use is our new everyday things.

Accessible unethical technology

Accessible unethical technology

Intersectionality

Intersectionality

Disability also intersects with race, class, wealth, occupation…

Disability also intersects with race, class, wealth, occupation…

We need to talk about unethical accessible technology.

We need to talk about unethical accessible technology.

It’s inequality.

It’s inequality.

These inequalities are likely to intersect with disabled people’s lives.

These inequalities are likely to intersect with disabled people’s lives.

What about if you have difficulty reading?

What about if you have difficulty reading?

Privacy and access

Privacy and access

Screen reader detection is an invasion of privacy.

Screen reader detection is an invasion of privacy.

A data point is more than just a data point.

A data point is more than just a data point.

Sam’s non-tech perspective.

Sam’s non-tech perspective.

We should be allowed to make the real choice.

We should be allowed to make the real choice.

Technology amplifies social and systemic issues.

Technology amplifies social and systemic issues.

Technology colonialism

Technology colonialism

“Nothing about us without us.”

“Nothing about us without us.”

We have to hold our communities to account.

We have to hold our communities to account.

Accessibility is not charity or kindness, it’s a responsibility.

Accessibility is not charity or kindness, it’s a responsibility.

It’s hard to advocate for change when alternatives don’t yet exist.

It’s hard to advocate for change when alternatives don’t yet exist.

We have the power to make that change.

We have the power to make that change.

How to build ethical technology

How to build ethical technology

Build small technology

Build small technology

Building small technology: approaches

Building small technology: approaches

How to build small technology: Make it easy to use.

How to build small technology: Make it easy to use.

How to build small technology: Make it inclusive.

How to build small technology: Make it inclusive.

How to build small technology: Don’t be colonial.

How to build small technology: Don’t be colonial.

How to build small technology: Make it personal.

How to build small technology: Make it personal.

Building small technology: architecture

Building small technology: architecture

How to build small technology: Make it private by default.

How to build small technology: Make it private by default.

How to build small technology: Make it zero-knowledge.

How to build small technology: Make it zero-knowledge.

How to build small technology: Make it peer-to-peer.

How to build small technology: Make it peer-to-peer.

How to build small technology: Make it interoperable.

How to build small technology: Make it interoperable.

How to build small technology: Make it share alike.

How to build small technology: Make it share alike.

How to build small technology: Make it non-commercial.

How to build small technology: Make it non-commercial.

Building small technology: personal approaches

Building small technology: personal approaches

It feels impossible. It probably is!

It feels impossible. It probably is!

1: If you can’t do it at work, do it at home.

1: If you can’t do it at work, do it at home.

2: Use small technology as job criteria.

2: Use small technology as job criteria.

3: Developing accessibility best practices is always a good thing.

3: Developing accessibility best practices is always a good thing.

Building small technology: who builds it?

Building small technology: who builds it?

Luddites, rebels and tin-foil hats.

Luddites, rebels and tin-foil hats.

Our whole approach matters.

Our whole approach matters.

You are not your job.

You are not your job.

1. Be independent.

1. Be independent.

2. Be the advisor.

2. Be the advisor.

3. Be the advocate.

3. Be the advocate.

4. Be the questioner.

4. Be the questioner.

5. Be the gatekeeper.

5. Be the gatekeeper.

6. Be difficult.

6. Be difficult.

7. Be unprofessional.

7. Be unprofessional.

8. Be the supporter.

8. Be the supporter.

Eat your vegetables.

Eat your vegetables.

We deserve better.

We deserve better.

Thank you!

Thank you!

Mainstream technology today is designed to track and exploit us. As technologists who are also users, we both contribute to this exploitative system and are exploited by it.

Is making our tech accessible enough, when the driving forces behind that tech are unethical?

Can tech be inclusive if it causes disproportionate harm to people from marginalised groups?

We can do better.

My talk will look at some of the big problems we face in tech today, and how we can start building inclusive and ethical technology tomorrow.

Resources

The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.

Buzz and feedback

Here’s what was said about this presentation on Twitter.