CCS'16 Satellite #38 — TIMES
September 20, 2016

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Smart Cities: Ethical issues investigated from a complex systems perspective

Maria Eunice Quilici Gonzalez & Mariana Claudia Broens


We aim to investigate, from a complex systems perspective, ethical issues related to: (i) privacy; (ii) the unauthorized handling, for commercial purposes, of digital traces left by users in smart houses and cities; (iii) the possibility of using ubiquitous information and data correlations to predict and prevent undesirable human social actions related to security and human rights. Problems (i) – (iii) will be analysed from an inter/transdisciplinary perspective in order to identify, on the one hand, the privacy and ethical concerns during the stage of collection of ubiquitous information in smart environments, and, on the other hand, the possibility of identifying the ideological features of the selected data, which could be used for surveillance and commercial purposes. An evolutionary perspective of Ethics will be presented, according to which moral habits are emergent properties of social affordances embodied in human social interactions. (Social affordances are “...dispositional collective properties that indicate possibilities of action provided to organisms by other organisms that share co-evolutionary histories ” (Gibson, 1986, McArthur & Baron, 1983)).


Gibson, J. J. (1986). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston: Houghton-Miffin.

MacArthur, L. Z., Baron, R. M. (1983). Toward an ecological theory of social perception. Psychological Review, vol. 90, no. 3, pp. 215-238.



Maria Eunice Q. Gonzalez is professor of Philosophy at the  University of Sao  Paulo  State - Brazil; she has a BSc in Physics (1977), and an MSc in Logic and Philosophy of Science (1984). Her PhD thesis “A cognitive approach to visual perception” was completed in 1989 at the University of Essex, UK. She is a founder member of the Brazilian Society for Cognitive  Science, and the Research Group on Cognitive Studies at UNESP, and member of the CLE research group on self-organization at UNICAMP, and the Ecological Psychology Society. She is a Latin American representative of the International Complex Systems Society.


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