Dr Catherine Flick

Job: Reader in Computing & Social Responsibility

Faculty: Technology

School/department: School of Computer Science and Informatics

Research group(s): Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, United Kingdom

T: +44 (0) 116 207 8487

E: cflick@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/ccsr

 

Personal profile

Dr. Catherine Flick graduated with a BSc with majors in Computer Science and History & Philosophy of Science, Sydney University, Australia, while working in industry as a systems administrator and web programmer. She completed her Honours year with a thesis on Trusted Computing in History & Philosophy of Science (First Class), at Sydney University, Australia. Her PhD was on the topic of Informed Consent in ICT, at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Australia. Areas of research have involved ethics and video games, responsible research and innovation in technology, anonymous technologies, trusted computing, and informed consent in IT. 

Current projects

Responsible-Industry (EU FP7)

COMPASS (EU H2020)

3D Tune-In (EU H2020)

Past projects

FRRIICT (ESRC)

Isis (ESRC/EPSRC)

EGAIS (EU FP7)

ETICA (EU FP7)

Publications and outputs 

  • Synthetic cannabinoid availability on darknet drug markets—changes during 2016–2017
    Synthetic cannabinoid availability on darknet drug markets—changes during 2016–2017 Scourfield, Andrew; Flick, Catherine; Ross, Jack; Wood, David M.; Thurtle, Natalie; Stellmach, Darryl; Dargan, Paul I. Changes in legislation have affected supply routes of new psychoactive substances such as synthetic cannabinoids with evidence of supply over the darknet. We identified darknet drug markets using an index database and Tor Browser to access markets. We identified SC in product listings using a custom-programmed script. We collected data at bimonthly intervals (August 2016–April 2017). Eleven darknet markets listed SC for sale, the largest number from China, UK, US, Netherlands, and Germany. Formulations available were high purity powder/crystal, smoking preparations and vape preparations. The top five listed compounds from China across the time points were FUB-AMB, ABD-FUBINACA, 5F-NPB-22, MAB-CHMINACA, and NM-2201. 5F-CUMYL-4CN-PINACA was unavailable at early time points but emerged during the study. Cost of high purity formulations from China ranged from 1.3 to 3.1 Euro per gram for quantities ≥1000 g. Europe and North America accounted for 99% smoking preparations predominantly in small packages (<50 g). SC are widely available on the darknet with availability changing over time. High purity formulations are predominantly available from China in quantities up to kilograms with price per gram reducing with increased quantity. Small packages of ready-made smoking mixtures are available from Europe and North America. open access article
  • ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
    ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Gotterbarn, D. W.; Brinkman, Bo; Flick, Catherine; Kirkpatrick, Michael S.; Miller, Keith; Vazansky, Kate; Wolf, Marty J. Computing professionals' actions change the world. To act responsibly, they should reflect upon the wider impacts of their work, consistently supporting the public good. The ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct ("the Code") expresses the conscience of the profession. The Code is designed to inspire and guide the ethical conduct of all computing professionals, including current and aspiring practitioners, instructors, students, influencers, and anyone who uses computing technology in an impactful way. Additionally, the Code serves as a basis for remediation when violations occur. The Code includes principles formulated as statements of responsibility, based on the understanding that the public good is always the primary consideration. Each principle is supplemented by guidelines, which provide explanations to assist computing professionals in understanding and applying the principle. This Code may be published without permission as long as it is not changed in any way and it carries the copyright notice. Copyright (c) 2018 by the Association for Computing Machinery.
  • ACM code of ethics: a guide for positive action
    ACM code of ethics: a guide for positive action Gotterbarn, D. W.; Bruckman, Amy; Flick, Catherine; Miller, Keith; Wolf, Marty J. The ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (the Code) is being updated by the Code Update Task Forcea in conjunction with the ACM's Committee on Professional Ethics. The Code was initially written in 1992, and this is the first update since then. In previous articles we detailed the motivations for updating the Code,b gave our responses to feedback on the initial draft, and produced an updated version, which we presented for feedback through the ACM Discourse site, email, and focus groups and workshops at ETHICOMP and SIGCSE. We thank everyone who took part in this public consultation round. Their insights, both positive and negative, were invaluable. We have deliberated extensively on the numerous suggestions for additions, changes, and deletions. Based on those deliberations, we produced Draft 3 of the Code. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link
  • Dynamic Technology Challenges Static Codes of Ethics
    Dynamic Technology Challenges Static Codes of Ethics Brinkman, Bo; Flick, Catherine; Gotterbarn, D. W.; Miller, Keith; Vazansky, Kate; Wolf, Marty J. We describe the process of changing and the changes being suggested for the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. In addition to addressing the technical and ethical basis for the proposed changes, we identify suggestions that commenters made in response to the first draft. We invite feedback on the proposed changes and on the suggestions that commenters made. Open access journal
  • Exploring simulated game worlds: Ethics in the No Man’s Sky Archaeological Survey
    Exploring simulated game worlds: Ethics in the No Man’s Sky Archaeological Survey Flick, Catherine; Dennis, L. Meghan; Reinhard, Andrew No Man’s Sky is an open world space procedural exploration game which allows players to traverse space in space ships, land on and explore planets. A group of archaeogamers (archaeologists interested in video games for varying reasons) decided to treat the game as an archaeological site, and within the No Man’s Sky Archaeological Survey explore, catalogue findings, and analyze objects and constructs within the game from an archaeological perspective. One of the aspects of this activity was to create a Code of Ethics – this paper describes the creation of the Code, the difficulties in implementation of the Code, and offers some recommendations to game developers who wish to encourage similar archaeological exploration within their own games.
  • Listening to professional voices: draft 2 of the ACM code of ethics and professional conduct
    Listening to professional voices: draft 2 of the ACM code of ethics and professional conduct Flick, Catherine; Brinkman, Bo; Gotterbarn, D. W.; Miller, Keith; Vazansky, Kate; Wolf, Marty J. For the first time since 1992, the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (the Code) is being updated. The Code Update Task Force in conjunction with the Committee on Professional Ethics is seeking advice from ACM members on the update. We indicated many of the motivations for changing the Code when we shared Draft 1 of Code 2018 with the ACM membership in the December 2016 issue of CACMb and with others through email and the COPE website (ethics.acm.org). Since December, we have been collecting feedback and are vetting proposed changes. We have seen a broad range of concerns about responsible computing including bullying in social media, cyber security, and autonomous machines making ethically significant decisions. The Task Force appreciates the many serious and thoughtful comments it has received. In response, the Task Force has proposed changes that are reflected in Draft 2 of the Code. There are a number of substantial changes that require some explanation. In this article, we discuss these, and we explain why we did not include other requested changes in Draft 2. We look forward to receiving your comments on these suggested changes and your requests for additional changes as we work on Draft 3 of the Code. We have provided opportunities for your comments and an open discussion of Draft 2 at the ACM Code 2018 Discussion website [http://code2018.acm.org/discuss]. Comments can also be contributed at the COPE website https://ethics.acm.org, and by direct emails to chair@ethics.acm.org. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Chickens in Video Games: Archaeology and ethics inform upon complex relationships
    Chickens in Video Games: Archaeology and ethics inform upon complex relationships Fothergill, B. Tyr; Flick, Catherine This article describes the results of a qualitative analysis of the presence and portrayals of chickens in video games. It examines the relationships between chickens as digital beings and human players, as well as the context of chickens within different game environments. This study uses archaeological and historical evidence to demonstrate the complexity inherent in human-chicken relationships over time and the tensions between temporally-contingent welfare expectations and those present in video games, as well as highlighting problematic ways in which chickens are depicted. It employs an applied ethics approach to identifying key issues of concern and suggesting alternative ways of portraying and interacting with chickens in video games.
  • Ethics of Emerging Information and Communication Technologies - On the implementation of RRI
    Ethics of Emerging Information and Communication Technologies - On the implementation of RRI Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968-; Flick, Catherine; Timmermans, Job Research and innovation in emerging technologies can have great benefits but also raise ethical and social concerns. The current discourse on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a novel attempt to come to conceptual and practical ways of dealing with such concerns. In order to effectively understand and address possible ethical and social issues, stakeholders need to have an understanding of what such issues might be. This paper explores ethical issues related to the field of emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs). Based on a foresight study of ICT that led to the identification of eleven emerging technologies, we outline the field of ethical and social issues of these technologies. This overview of possible problems can serve as an important sensitising device to these issues. We describe how such awareness can contribute to the successful deployment of responsible practice in research and innovation. Open Access article
  • Informed consent and the Facebook emotional manipulation study
    Informed consent and the Facebook emotional manipulation study Flick, Catherine This article argues that the study conducted by Facebook in conjunction with Cornell University did not have sufficient ethical oversight, and neglected in particular to obtain necessary informed consent from the participants in the study. It establishes the importance of informed consent in Internet research ethics and suggests that in Facebook’s case (and other, similar cases), a reasonable shift could be made from traditional medical ethics ‘effective consent’ to a ‘waiver of normative expectations’, although this would require much-needed change to the company’s standard practice. Finally, it gives some practical recommendations for how to implement such consent strategies, and how the ethical oversight gap between university-led research and industry-led research can be bridged, potentially using emerging Responsible Research and Innovation frameworks which are currently gathering momentum in Europe.
  • The ethics of human-chicken relationships in video games
    The ethics of human-chicken relationships in video games Flick, Catherine; Fothergill, B. Tyr In this paper, we look at the historical place that chickens have held in media depictions and as entertainment, analyse several types of representations of chickens in video games, and draw out reflections on society in the light of these representations. We also look at real-life, modern historical, and archaeological evidence of chicken treatment and the evolution of social attitudes with regard to animal rights, and deconstruct the depiction of chickens in video games in this light.

Click here to view a full listing of Catherine Flick's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

Social impact of emerging technologies

Social networks

Privacy and society

Development of ethics-centred systems

Informed consent in IT;

Anonymous systems (TOR, Bitcoin, etc.)

Ethics of video games

Wearable technologies

hackspaces & startups

Online child protection

Online activism/"slacktivism"

Trusted computing & general trust in computing

Ethical governance of technology

Ethics for systems administrators

Hacking and ethics

Areas of teaching

Computer Ethics

Research Methods and Ethics

Qualifications

PhD in Computer Ethics, BSc, PGCHE

Membership of professional associations and societies

MBCS (Professional Member of the Chartered Institute for IT, UK)

IFIP (International Federation of Information Processing) Member – Working Group 9.2 (Computing and Social Accountability), and SIG 9.2.2 (Ethical Framework for Computing)

Current research students

First supervisor for:

Michelle Brown

Second supervisor for:

George Ogoh

Candace Grant 

Job Timmermans

Eric Agyei-Bekoe (completed 2015)

Yahya Al Alhareth (completed 2015)

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