ED Pam Dixon calls for a Nuremberg Code of digital ethics, addresses 40th international conference of data protection and privacy commissioners

Speaking to an audience of global Data Protection Authorities in the capstone session of the 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, WPF Executive Director Pam Dixon discussed the central importance that data should be used for a public good, and must above all, should not create harm. Referencing her extensive peer-reviewed research on biometrics and the Aadhaar ID system in India, (research which was directly quoted in a recent landmark Supreme Court of India privacy ruling) Dixon noted that the legendary Nuremberg Code grew from an urgent need to create long-term protections for all human subject research going forward. “The Nuremberg Code originated as a result of the horrifying reality of unethical human experimentation. It was created so as to ensure that humans never repeat the mistakes made in WWII,” she said. “This code has now become the basis of global law around human subject research and is still effective today. This code grew from a response to reality, it did not originate as an abstract theory of ethics. Today, we need a new Nuremberg code for digital activities, based in the specific realities of our times, and focused on digital and data ethics.”

40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, WPF ED Pam Dixon speaking on digital ethics, 25 October 2018, European Parliament Hemicycle, Brussels, Belgium.