Ethics Committee thinks along with the municipality about digital technology and data processing | The Swollenaer

ZWOLLE – A group of independent professionals will think along with the municipality of Zwolle about ethical questions in digital technologies and data processing. An Ethics Committee has been appointed for this by alderman Michiel van Willigen.

The Ethics Committee is a group of professionals, consisting of five members from outside the municipal organization, who help the board and the official organization to increase knowledge and awareness about the ethical side of using data and new technologies.

These are Robin Effing (chairman, university lecturer Business Information Systems at the High-Tech Business & Entrepreneurship department/University of Twente), Gary Antonius (Business Development Global Baat Medical BV), Robert Helder (lecturer at Utrecht University, lawyer and doctor of Philosophy), Annelien Schuldink (lawyer Dommerholt Advocaten) and Saar van der Spek (trend strategist/future explorer/city maker).

When working on the city’s tasks, the municipality is making smarter use of data and new technologies. But the question also arises: do we really want to take advantage of all the possibilities? What do we consider decent, morally and ethically permissible? The discussion on this is complicated, because many interests have to be weighed up. Moreover, there are no frameworks for (digital) ethics available, we have to make choices for the municipality itself as an organisation.

With the establishment of the Ethics Committee, the municipality is creating input for making sound considerations about digitization. In this way the question is asked out loud: “How do we as a municipality want to deal with our citizens and partners in the city in relation to data and technology use?”

Until now, insufficient or implicit attention has been paid to this in digital innovations. The Ethics Committee is a sounding board and knowledge platform for the municipality and will also reflect on moral, ethical questions surrounding digital innovations in Zwolle. The composition of the Ethics Committee is based on a profile established by the College of Mayor and Aldermen in the decision to set up an Ethics Committee.

Members of the Ethics Committee are members in a personal capacity. They do not represent an organization, but are committed to Zwolle. Members are members for two years, with the option to extend the term for another two years.

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