Information ethics

The information ethics is a philosophical discipline that deals with the moral handling of information.


The motivation for this ethical consideration is the growing importance of information that is also described as a transformation to the information society. When dealing with knowledge and information in virtual spaces to morals and standards are emerging ( hacker ethic, Netiquette, Sharerity, ...), which are examined and discussed in the context of information ethics.

The information ethics is concerned among other things with the questions of whether and how ownership rights can be asserted of information, the free access to information ( freedom of information ) and of overcoming the digital divide between those with and without access to information, the right to informational self -determination and the protection of privacy in the face of growing possibilities of monitoring ( data protection) and restrictions on the dissemination of information (youth protection, censorship).

Related research areas are media ethics, computer ethics, engineering ethics, ethics of the future, technology assessment and business ethics.


The main functions of information ethics are according to the philosopher and Information Science Rafael Capurro, who also coined the term, " ask about the origin of the structures and power relations that determine the information behavior ", " uncover information myths and criticize ", "hidden contradictions of the dominant language standardization disclose " and " the development of information ethics issues watching ".

The Konstanz Information Science Rainer Kuhlen treated similar questions, among others, under the concept of information ecology.