GWI Australia

An ethical decision-making framework to protect the safety of our community

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GWI was engaged by a large road safety agency to develop a tailored Data Ethics Framework that supports their data and information journey and the development of their strategic objectives.  

The agency holds and collect vast amounts of data both internally and externally, and they are also in the process of democratizing their data holdings to improve digital service delivery, accessibility and customer experience. These factors have the potential to expose and increase the risk of errors in data use, sharing and collection for the agency. 

As a result, they identified a requirement to strengthen their processes across the entire data lifecycle, including the ethical considerations of proposed new data initiatives. To prevent reputational damage and/or data breaches, they face the challenge of proactively embedding ethical decision-making into business-as-usual processes across the entire data lifecycle. 

So, they engaged data ethics experts, GWI.  

In collaboration with our customers, we developed a tailored Data Ethics Framework to enable the agency to tackle ethical issues posed by the collection, analysis, use and sharing of data and protect them against the associated privacy risks.  

Understanding the environment  

To understand their current data usage and collection practices, we interviewed key stakeholders who provided us with a clear understanding of the current environment, attitudes towards data and the overarching strategic objectives. From there, GWI began developing a comprehensive Data Ethics Framework, acknowledging that while some ethical principles are codified in law, the data environment and technology are evolving rapidly and often legislation does not keep pace with the associated risks.  

The Framework GWI developed guides and supports the agency’s staff in assessing specific datasets to surface potential data ethics issues or concerns. It also provides recommended actions to mitigate possible risks that could arise, ensuring our client is protected and upholds the highest standards for data ethics.​  

Acting as a systematic application of an ethical lens to data practices, the Framework has led to a better understanding of the ethical considerations relating to the collection, management, use and sharing of data, and encourage responsible innovation within the organisation. ​  

This engagement has allowed GWI to work with our client to enable them to ethically leverage their data to improve the accessibility, safety, responsiveness, efficiency and sustainability of their services. Most importantly, the implementation of our Data Ethics Framework will lead to an increased level of trust amongst their customers and the wider community. 

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