In chapter 2 we look at the role of data ethics in governance and socio-technical change. In our daily lives, sociotechnical infrastructures are mundane, and we take them for granted. They have no visible being as spaces of moral and ethical compromises. Yet, when they break down, malfunction or clash with other legal or moral systems, their embodied moral compromises become visible. This moment when the narrative of one system becomes visible, as we saw in the previous chapter, is also the moment of negotiation that will direct the development of a new system and the transformation of the old. We can identify moments on the macro scale of time of a developing sociotechnical system that are prone to the ‘ethical governance’ of socio-technical change. They are critical moments as they constitute social negotiation and result in the cultural compromises or the ‘technological momentum’ that a sociotechnical system needs to evolve. They are also crucial to phases of innovation and development as they constitute the transformation of the sociotechnical system that emerges out of a quest to solve critical problems of that system.
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