WeeklyTech #122

4 ethical issues in technology to watch for in 2022

For the past few years, I have had the opportunity to highlight some of the top ethical issues in technology to be aware of as we begin a new year. In 2021, I wrote about the concerning trends of content moderation — especially in regards to free speech and religious freedom in the digital public square — as well as the growing concerns over facial recognition technologies and the ongoing debate over personal privacy. While many of these same issues will likely carry over into 2022, some have given way to larger concerns about pervasive surveillance, in addition to the threat of digital authoritarianism around the world.

For all of the good uses of technology, it has profound and consequential effects on us as humans. It shapes us in particular ways, including how we see and engage with those around us. While many today are reframing what it means to be human, Christians know that every person is created in God’s image and has inherent dignity. Furthermore, we know that our identity is rooted in God our Creator and that we are to love him and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39). This question of human identity is central to many of the ethical issues in the digital age because technology, instead of being a separate issue, is a core element to most of them.

If 2021 taught us anything, it is that we need to take these particular ethical issues seriously. The church needs to understand that technology is becoming one of the primary disciplers of our people, forming us in ways that we may never fully understand. In light of these realities, here are four of the top issues to keep an eye on in 2022.

The Rundown

How to save our social media by treating it like a city – Sahar Massachi | MIT Technology Review

We need to make our online spaces more similar to our offline ones to limit the reach of bad actors and keep people safe.

Why Evangelicals Are Early Adopters of New Tech – Corinna Laughlin | The Atlantic

In the digital era, evangelicals have continued to embrace media technologies as they have entered the zeitgeist. Evangelicals often talk about how they are called to be “in but not of” the world, which means that they feel they need to use the technologies of secular culture to spread their own messages and values. And though a few prominent evangelicals have eschewed digital media, many have taken to it enthusiastically.

Are Apple AirTags Being Used to Track People and Steal Cars? – Ryan Mac and Kashmir Hill | NY Times

Privacy groups sounded alarms about the coin-sized location-tracking devices when they were introduced. Now people are concerned those fears are being realized.

Tesla is recalling 475,000 cars in the United States – Michelle Ma | Protocol

Tesla is set to recall more than 475,000 cars in the United States, according to two safety recall reports submitted by the company to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Dec. 21.

One of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s verified Twitter accounts permanently suspended from Twitter – Donie O’Sullivan & Daniel Dale | CNN

Twitter has permanently suspended Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Twitter account @mtgreenee, the company confirmed to CNN Sunday morning. A Twitter spokesperson said the company “permanently suspended” the account “for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy.”