Anglo-Japanese Information Ethics: Comparisons and Cross-Fertilisation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Reading
Department Name: Sch of Systems Engineering

Abstract

Japan is rightly regarded as one of the most technologically advanced nations on the planet. Digital entertainment and communication technologies are often widely adopted and sometimes even superseded in Japan before they are even available in Europe or the US. Cultural and linguistic differences have provided significant barriers to studying the impact of these new technologies in Japan and the use of that impact to improve take-up in the West, or to avoid negative consequences of adoption in Japan when they arrive elsewhere. In Japan itself study of the ethics of information technology systems (including the social implications of their introduction and the legal basis of their regulation) has often taken a back seat to quick adoption and sales at home and abroad. There are many parallels between the UK and Japan in social and geographic terms: they are relatively densely populated island nations in the top five economies by raw GDP. There are also significant differences, however, such as the racial and ethnic homogeneity of the residents in Japan compared to the heterogeneity so visible in the UK. By analysing the impact of new technologies in Japan and the UK, particularly in terms of regulatory regimes combined with physical and informational infrastructure, general lessons may be learned about the potential impact of such technologies elsewhere and of further developments in the future. Regular visits by academics with appropriate backgrounds in both directions are the only feasible way of allowing such studies. The project funds Dr Adams to make continued trips to Japan to work with academics from a small but growing number of Universities (Meiji and Ehime Universities currently and it is hoped Senshu, Tokyo and Waseda Universities as well as the Institute of Information Security), and to develop contacts in Japan's high technology industries (such as Toshiba, Sony and Docomo). It will build on previous trips, including a nine month visit to Meiji University in 2007, in developing a greater understanding of the Japanese approach to the social, legal and ethical impacts of computer and communications technologies in various areas in order to cross-fertilise understanding of these impacts in both Japan and the UK and how to maximise beneficial consequences while minimizing negative effects. Subjects of study during the visits to Japan will include:- continuing examination of the Japanese approaches to privacy and data protection, including the implementation of the Japanese data protection legislation and how online behaviour is shaped by fears about or disregard for the privacy implications of revelatory activity, and the impact of data protection rules on various sectors of society (commercial organisations, non-profit groups, public sector and governmental entities);- examination of the use of electronic communications by elected officials for electoral and consultative activities in both the UK and Japan;- differences in the approaches to improving the online experience for children, by legislation, regulation, education and government provision;- examining the slowly growing use of CCTV by private and public actors in Japan, compared with the well-known mass use of CCTV in the UK.

Publications

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A. A. Adams (2014) Facebook Code: Social Network Sites Platform Affordances and Privacy in Journal of law, Information and Science

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A. A. Adams (Author) (2010) The Open vs Closed Debate in Journal of Information and Management (Journal of the Japanese Society for Information and Management)

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A. A. Adams (Author) (2010) The Development of Japanese Data Protection. in Policy and Internet

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A. A. Adams (Author) (2010) Virtual Sex with Child Avatars

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Adams A (2009) The Japanese sense of information privacy in AI & SOCIETY

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Andrew Adams (Author) (2011) Emerging Social Norms in the UK and Japan on Privacy and Revelation in SNS. in International Review of Information Ethics

 
Description A Comparative Study of Young People's Online Behaviour between Japan and the United Kingdom
Amount £19,000 (GBP)
Organisation KDDI Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country Japan
Start 04/2011 
End 09/2012
 
Description A Cross-Cultural Study on Alienation Caused by ICT-based Services and Organisational Responsibility
Amount ¥16,900,000 (JPY)
Funding ID Kaken Kiban (B) 25285124 
Organisation Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) 
Sector Learned Society
Country Japan
Start 04/2013 
End 03/2016
 
Description DESVALDO: An East Asian Perspective on the Developing Ethical and Social Values of Digital Object Usage
Amount £33,000 (GBP)
Organisation CIGREF 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country France
Start 09/2011 
End 09/2012
 
Description Long Term Visiting Fellowship by Prof Graham Greenleaf, University of New South Wales
Amount ¥1,000,000 (JPY)
Funding ID L12535 
Organisation Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) 
Sector Learned Society
Country Japan
Start 09/2012 
End 12/2012
 
Description Organisational Information Ethics
Amount ¥87,000,000 (JPY)
Funding ID S1291006 
Organisation The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology 
Sector Public
Country Japan
Start 04/2012 
End 03/2017
 
Description Organisational and Individual Behaviour, and Personal Information Protection in the Age of Social Media
Amount ¥17,100,000 (JPY)
Funding ID Kaken Kiban (B) 24330127 
Organisation Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) 
Sector Learned Society
Country Japan
Start 04/2011 
End 03/2015
 
Description Research support on user acceptance studies for a Privacy Management Platform.
Amount ¥2,000,000 (JPY)
Organisation KDDI Foundation 
Department KDDI Research & Development Laboratories
Sector Private
Country Japan
Start 07/2013 
End 04/2015
 
Description Ehime University 
Organisation Ehime University
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2007
 
Description Meiji University 
Organisation Meiji University
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2007
 
Description Media Interest 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I was interviewed by a journalist at the South China Morning Post, the premier English language newspaper in Hong Kong, regarding ethical and legal aspects of CCTV deployment in the UK and Japan as context for her article on the growth of CCTV in Hong Kong

I was quoted in her article, which was published in the South China Morning Post, the premier English language newspaper in Hong Kong.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1449669/cctv-cameras-run-tens-thousands-across-hong-kong