Analyzing the Ethical Implications of Research Using Leaked Data

Analyzing the Ethical Implications of Research Using Leaked Data

By  Anne E. Boustead, University of Arizona and Trey Herr, Atlantic Council Cyber Statecraft Initiative

Although information made public after a data breach can provide insight into difficult research questions, use of these data raises ethical questions not directly addressed by current ethical guidelines. This article develops a framework for identifying and managing risks to human subjects when conducting research involving leaked data. We contend that researchers who seek to use leaked data should identify and address ethical challenges by considering the process through which the data were originally released into the public domain.

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