In pursuit of socially-minded data-intensive innovation in banking: A focus group study of public expectations of digital innovation in banking

Mhairi Aitken; Magdalene Ng; Dave Horsfall; Kovila Coopamootoo; Aad van Moorsel; Karen Elliott

DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2021.101666


While the field of data ethics is increasingly engaging with the complex socio-technical nature of data practices and their impacts, in the private sector, data ethics continues to be pursued largely through limited instrumental measures. This paper addresses the following research question: How can socially-minded data-intensive innovation be pursued in the private sector? It reports the findings of a series of five focus groups to explore the role of public deliberation in informing ethical data practices in banking. The findings indicate that deliberative forms of public engagement present valuable opportunities to incorporate diverse views and perspectives and to enable critical reflection on organisational practices and the trajectory of innovation. We conclude that public engagement is vital to ensure that private sector organisations move beyond “ethics-washing” or tokenistic efforts at Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) to meaningfully address public concerns and reflect public values in all innovation processes.