There is an App for THAT !

TitleThere is an App for THAT !
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsFunke, RD, Boxall, SF, Funke, MB, Myers, GA, Potthast, A
Corporate AuthorsAssociation of Practical and Professional Ethics,
Date Published08/2012
PublisherAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics
KeywordsBUSINESS ethics , COMPUTER science , Geographic Information Sciences , personal ethics , Privacy and Surveillance , Public Policy
AbstractMicrosoft has recently filed a patent for a navigation application (app), which allows pedestrians to choose the safest walking route by combining GPS technology with “information from maps, weather reports, crime statistics and demographics.”1 Microsoft has not yet released the app, but the product has already stirred controversy among scholars, technology users, business owners and the NAACP, earning the infamous nickname “avoid-ghetto app.” Unlike other commonly used navigation programs, such as Google Maps, which simply give users the shortest distance between two locations, Microsoft’s app has the ability to guide pedestrians away from neighborhoods that it deems unsafe. As explained in the patent application, pedestrians using this app are routed “through neighborhoods with violent crime statistics below a certain threshold.”2 Some technology experts have praised the app for being the next logical step in intelligent navigation technology. If people want to avoid dangerous places, so the argument goes, this technology is merely a tool that can help them arrive at their destination safely.
NotesCase from the 2012 Regional Ethics Bowl Competition © Association for Practical and Professional Ethics
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