Steve Freeman, author of Growing Object Oriented Software, Guided by Tests (Addison-Wesley), was a pioneer of Agile software development in the UK. He has developed software in many organisations from small vendors to multinational institutions. Previously, he has worked in research labs and software houses, earned a PhD, written shrink-wrap applications for IBM, and taught at University College London. Steve now works as an independent and is a Distinguished Consultant with Zuhlke Engineering in London.
In this talk, we discuss the ethical considerations of being a software developer in a world that, increasingly, seems like an unfolding episode of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror. In 2016, BuzzFeed News reported that a wifi enabled children’s doll, My Friend Cayla, was streaming data to Nuance Communications, a company specialising in voice recognition software — but also with a small division building software for military and government agencies. Privacy campaigners expressed concern that, as children tend to ascribe personalities to their toys and confide in them as ‘friends,’ this constituted an unnecessary invasion into children’s privacy.
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