In terms of my research, knowing who talks to who(face-to-face) would be kinda interesting to see. Take this network of colored nodes for example, and imagine every node was a person with a different job description.

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What would be interesting to see is, do people in offices just talk to other team members, people of similar profile(intern –> intern), (principle –> to principle) or does everyone talk to everyone? I am particularly interested because of my thesis and its focus. Part of my literature review talks about how job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and productivity can be linked back to high amounts of face-to-face interactions and collaboration with members within an organization. What that data doesn’t give me however, is insight into if that collaboration is intrinsically linked with speaking to members of that same profile or if collaborating with people from other walks of like, experiences and training act as influencer.

The Ethics game…

Now, hypothetically, if you had a way of finding this information out but the people you were collecting the data from didn’t like that idea very much, or worst case scenario, some bad people got their hands on the data, would you still do it given all the potential benefits? Its a pretty simple thing to take down a persons profile when they sign up for an experiment. For example as a beacon is assigned to a participant, their name and occupation(e.g architect) is also taken down, however the beacon number and the profile is known, but the participants identity is still hidden, should you still do it?

I guess you have to ask yourself a series of questions. Can this data be used to determine a persons identity, regardless if they have access to the participants name or not? It might be someone knows roughly where someone sits during the day,therefore can made an assumption that the position of the Beacon on (e.g the back north wall, second from the left) is Johnny. Now just say, johnny doesn’t like that that information can be deduced from the findings, what can be done?

Another question is, what security measures are being put in place to stop the sensitive information from being hacked/distributed, and is that enough to be ethical? Again…Hypothetically, if the names of the people within the experiment, along side their profile and routine were to get into the wrong hands(e.g Da Boss…) then maybe that might cause some problems at work, if say johnny, is known for taking constant cigarette breaks when he knows hes suppose to be working.

Using Fake data

Let’s take a step back now. Say we demonstrate how to profile people/the process and what not, and record the whole thing, but using ‘fake variables’. For example Johnny is no longer a Architect, but an intern, and Mary is a receptionist, not a principle, would those results be terrible?

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The idea is that if you could demonstrate the capability of the system, ethics will only be an issue if using real data.