Informed consent in information technology: improving user experience

Catherine Flick

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Informed consent theory has traditionally addressed the rights of patients and exper- imental research subjects with the focus in this medical context being retaining the person's autonomy or right to autonomous action under specic circumstances where without informed consent grave wrongs to that person could be done. In this thesis, I argue that this is not an appropriate approach for information technology, where there is often a large number of consent requests; consent requests that are highly manipulative, misleading, or disguised; and a low level of user understanding about computer function and rights and responsibilities of the user and the companies involved. With our reliance on computers to deal with our personal information and carry out tasks for us increasing at a rapid rate, the ways that we deal with user and soft-ware manufacturer rights and responsibilities with regard to software use need much closer examination. There are very few informed consent procedures currently in information technology, and those that exist are grossly weighted toward simply ab-solving companies of legal responsibility rather than being concerned with the values of the computer user. An appropriate, solid, easily applicable theory for informed consent is required to improve the current \free-for-all" situation in computing. In this dissertation, I examine the history and theory of informed consent proce- dures in the medical and clinical research elds, and how these have been applied to information technology.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Weckert, John, Co-Supervisor
  • Matthews, Stephen, Co-Supervisor
  • Grossman, Jason, Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date01 Mar 2009
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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