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In preparation: Representing Rights: A Lingua Franca for Rights in Software Engineering


Cover of the Carr Center working paper in which I ask if we can move
fast without breaking things.

Voss, Alexander. Can We Move Fast Without Breaking Things? Software Engineering Methods Matter to Human Rights Outcomes. Carr Center Discussion Paper Series, October 24, 2022.

Abstract: As the products of the IT industry have become ever more prevalent in our everyday lives, evidence of undesirable consequences of their use has become ever more difficult to ignore. Consequently, several responses ranging from attempts to foster individual ethics and collective standards in the industry to legal and regulatory frameworks have been developed and are being widely discussed in the literature. This paper instead makes the argument that currently popular methods of software engineering are implicated as they hinder work that would be necessary to avoid negative outcomes. I argue that software engineering has regressed and that introducing rights as a core concept into the ways of working in the industry is essential for making software engineering more rights-respecting.