Accountability means being answerable for one’s choices, actions and expectations of one’s role. It also applies to technological infrastructures and algorithms as these should ‘account for’ their affordances in intelligible ways.
- Be answerable for actions in information sharing.
- Build systems that are accountable for their operation.
Accountability means being answerable for one’s choices and actions and recognising one’s role and being responsive to the expectations attached to it.
Accountability also applies to technology in the sense that infrastructures and algorithms should ‘account for’ their affordances and actions in ways that are intelligible to people. Recognising the role of individuals and organisations involved in the design, management and use of collaborative information systems necessitates appreciating the responsibility shouldered by each individual and group involved. This includes considering how actions could impact those engaged in the system as well as in greater society.
Petersen, K. et al. (2015) D2.02 ELSI guidelines for collaborative design and database of representative emergency and disaster. SecInCoRe EU Deliverable. [Link]
SATORI (2016) Ethics assessment for research and innovation – Annex A. CWA SATORI-1:2016 [Link]
Weitzner, D. J., Abelson, H., Berners-Lee, T., Feigenbaum, J., Hendler, J., and Sussman, G. J. (2008). Information accountability. Communications of the ACM, 51(6), 82–87. [DOI]
Zuiderveen Borgesius, F. (2018) Discrimination, artificial intelligence, and algorithmic decision-making. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.