June 2020
Message from the Editor
Heather Love, Editor, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) Newsletter

Dear SSIT Members,

I hope that you are faring well as the longest or shortest days of the year (depending on your location) approach, as we all continue to navigate the uncertainties of the evolving COVID-19 situation, and as many of us grapple with the implications of ongoing #BlackLivesMatter protests in the United States and elsewhere.

This newsletter features:
  • Information about the June 2020 issue of SSIT’s new publication, the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society
  • A new instalment in the Ethical Dilemma series that SSIT is producing in conjunction with the IEEE Life Members Committee
  • Updates from the SSIT Madras Chapter and SSIT Distinguished Lecturer, Haris Hamidović
  • Several publication and conference opportunities that should be of interest to many of you.
As always, I invite submissions from all SSIT members for inclusion in future newsletters. In particular, I’d love to hear about your local Chapter meetings, events, or outreach activities. To announce an event, news item, volunteer opportunity, CFP, award notice, or other item, please contact me at Heather.Love@uwaterloo.ca. Submissions for each newsletter are due on the 1st of the month.
SSIT Announcements
IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society: Issue #2 Now Available!
The June 2020 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society is now available. This issue includes the following titles, which we hope you will check out:
Subscription rates for SSIT members are only US$10 (US$5 for SSIT student members) for the first year. Please show your support for this new SSIT initiative by subscribing today!

For more information about submitting your work to the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society, see the “Publications” section below.
Ethical Dilemma: On Being the Messenger
Submitted by Bruce Hunter

Early in my career, I served as a department head in a firm with just under 100 employees; this was a division of a larger organization based in another city. Shortly after a new manager was assigned to our firm, rumors began to circulate among staff members that our division was for sale. In response, the new manager held a general staff meeting to assure employees that such rumors were totally unfounded. I, however, knew otherwise: a friend at headquarters had confided that legal considerations required our division to be sold within a prescribed time. Thus, my dilemma began.

A few weeks later, while at lunch in a restaurant with two of my staff members, a well-known industry tycoon, for whom I had done consulting work, happened to pass by our table. He casually remarked, “Bruce, I almost bought your division last night.” I waved and smiled; he continued on his way, oblivious to the fact that he had just placed me in a very awkward situation.

Driving back to the office, I weighed the options. Must I alert the manager that his credibility has been compromised? Or should I do nothing and allow the inevitable story to circulate? I could ask my staff members for their silence, but asking them to support misinformation without any certainty the episode could be contained seemed wrong. I considered that if I did nothing and the matter surfaced, I might respond, “You assured us the division was not for sale, thus I assumed the tycoon had simply heard the rumor and was joking,” but that also seemed unethical.

By the time I reached the office, I had decided the only ethical path was to inform the manager, even though the chemistry between us had not been very good. Unsurprisingly, he was visibly upset. A few hours later, he called a general staff meeting to acknowledge the facility was for sale. He placed severe restrictions on employees’ attendance and announced that any employee who left before a sale took place would forfeit severance payments.

In the months that followed, I questioned the wisdom of my decision. Instead of bestowing his thanks, the angry manager made my life difficult by sending multiple memoranda, on nearly a daily basis, critical of me and my department.

I survived the sale, appreciating the challenge of balancing ethics and self-interest, having learned it is best to avoid being the bearer of bad news. Yet, while unpleasant at the time, this experience helped make me a better manager. It taught me the danger of using misinformation as a management tool, irrespective of ethical considerations; and it made me see the value of maintaining a work environment where employees are comfortable coming forward with important information, even when it is unfavorable to me or the organization.
This ethical dilemma account is part of an ongoing initiative between the IEEE’s SSIT and Life Members Committee (LMC). If you have an experience that involved navigating an ethical dilemma as part of your professional life, we invite you to consider sharing it with your colleagues through the SSIT or LMC newsletters.

A joint SSIT/LMC committee will vet all initial submissions, and authors will work with the editors of the two publications to finalize their submissions. Accepted Ethical Dilemma articles will be published simultaneously in the June and December issues of both newsletters.

Article submissions must be between 300 and 500 words in Microsoft Word format. The IEEE Legal Department requires that all articles be fully sanitized to protect the privacy of people and organizations. Please submit manuscripts to Rosann Marosy at r.marosy@ieee.org.
Chapter Activity Update: IEEE SSIT Madras Chapter
Submitted by Navaneethakrishnan Ramanathan
Although the COVID-19 global pandemic situation means that we were unable to convene any in-person professional gatherings, we have actively engaged our members through various technical and professional development meetings hosted on online platforms. Many thanks to Dr. Ramalatha Marimuthu (past-BoG member of IEEE SSIT) for her support and guidance on these initiatives:
  • “ICT for a Sustainable World” (Webinar), Assoc Prof. Dr. Supavadee Aramvith, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. This event was organized in partnership with the Department of ECE Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore, India on 08 May 2020.
  • “Inspire and Engage the Engineers of Tomorrow with Assistive Technology Engineering” (Webinar), Prof. Dr. S.K Ramesh, California State University, Northridge, USA. This event was organized in partnership with IEEE YESIST12 2020 on 09 May 2020.
  • “Grant and Research Proposal Writing” (Webinar), Dr. ChunChe “Lance” Fung, Emeritus Professor, Murdoch University, Australia. This event was organized in partnership with the Department of ECE Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore, India on 20 May 2020.
  • “Current trending devices for 5G communication” (Webinar), Dr. D.Nirmal, Associate professor & Head, Karunya Institute of Engineering & Technology, Coimbatore; EXECOM member, IEEE Madras Section, India. This event was organized in partnership with the Department of ECE Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore, India & IEEE Electron devices society on 27 May 2020.
  • “Business Communication” (Webinar), Ms. Nikitha, analyst at Deloitte USI, IEEE Young Professional and volunteer, IEEE ProComm society member. This event was organized in partnership with the Department of IEEE, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering College, Puducherry, India on 30 May 2020.
  • 5-Day Online Faculty Development Program on Computing & Signal Processing in IoT Applications. This event was organized in partnership with the Department of ECE, QIS College of Engineering and Technology, Ongole, Andhra Pradesh, India (23-27 May 2020)
For additional information about these events, please contact navaneethakrishnan@ieee.org.
SSIT Distinguished Lecture Update: New Book by Haris Hamidović
Submitted by Haris Hamidović
Due to rapid technological development and globalization, new challenges have emerged in the protection of personal data. The scope of collection and exchange of personal data is significantly increasing. The technology enables private companies and public authorities to use personal data to an unprecedented extent in order to carry out their activities.

In his new book, Technical and organizational measures for personal data protection, IEEE SSIT DL Haris Hamidović (IEEE Senior Member, Assistant Professor) presents the basic technical protection mechanisms that data controllers should implement, such as privacy by design, anonymization, pseudonymization, and more. His arguments are based on recommendations of good practice and new EU regulations in the field of personal data protection. 

The book was written in the languages of the peoples of the Western Balkans (Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian, Montenegrin) and published at the end of May 2020. Like Hamidović’s other five books, this publication is also available for viewing through Google Books.
Call for Expressions of Interest to Host SSIT Conferences
IEEE SSIT organizes, co-organizes, and sponsors conferences focused on technology, society and ethics. IEEE SSIT is seeking expressions of interest from SSIT members interested in hosting the following conferences around the world.

IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS)
ISTAS is the flagship conference of IEEE SSIT, addressing issues across the SSIT 5 Pillars (Sustainable Development; Ethics/Human Values; Universal Access; Societal Impacts and Protecting the Planet). Information about IEEE ISTAS 2020 is available here.

Expressions of interest are welcome for 2021 and 2022.

IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW)
The 21CW conference series addresses the technical, social and personal legacy of the founder of cybernetics, control theory, and information ethics, Norbert Wiener. It has been held in Boston (2014), Melbourne (2016), with satellite activities in India 2014, 2016, 2018. The next 21CW conference will take place from 22-25 July 2021 in Chennai, India.

Expressions of interest are welcome for 2022 and 2024.

If you are interested in hosting one of these events, or if you would like further information, please contact SSIT Conferences Chair, Jay Pearlman.
Call for Nominations: IEEE SSIT Awards
IEEE SSIT has three major awards, all of which are open for nominations at this time.

The Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest is open to anyone, or group, who performs an important public service, possibly at the risk of career or reputation. This includes anyone, whether or not in the engineering profession, or a member of IEEE. Further information on recipients can be found here.

The Brian M. O’Connell SSIT Distinguished Service Award is for SSIT volunteers who have demonstrated outstanding service for the benefit of SSIT. More information on this award can be found here.

The SSIT Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility is given to an individual or team for exceptional contribution, or outstanding career contribution in the field of the social implications of technology. Further information can be found here.

To nominate an individual, submit information to Michael Cardinale. Include the individual’s contact information – name, address, phone, email, professional history (year, organization and position), and the proposed citation in 25 words or less. The nominator must also submit their own contact information.
IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society
The IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society publishes four issues each year (March, June, September, and December), and submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

The editorial team seeks research papers on the interactions among technology, science, and society; on the impact of such interactions on individuals and society; and on the ethical, professional and social responsibility in the practice of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Find out more about the publication’s scope, topics, and article submission guidelines here, and be sure to read the June 2020 issue of the journal, which is now available.

Please show your support for this new SSIT initiative by subscribing today!

For expressions of interest to serve on the editorial board as an ongoing reviewer or associate editor, or for other enquiries please email founding editor-in-chief katina.michael@asu.edu.
Special Issue CFP from Information Technology & People
Theme: Business Analytics for the Management of Information Systems Development
Submission Deadline: 30 September 2020
Special issue editors:
Denis Dennehy, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland
Ilias Pappas, University of Agder, Norway
Samuel Fossa Wamba, Toulouse Business School, France
Katina Michael, Arizona State University, USA

Overview of Special Issue
This special issue seeks to collect contemporary research on the latest developments and challenges of how organisations exploit business analytics to support project/portfolio managers, project teams, and other project stakeholders. Please read the full CFP for a detailed overview of the special issue’s topic, a list of anticipated themes, and information about submission guidelines.

Important Dates:
  • Initial paper submission deadline: 30 September 2020
  • First round authors notification: 30 November 2020
  • Invited revisions deadline: 31 January 2021
  • Second round authors notification: 31 March 2021
  • Final revision deadline: 31 May 2021
  • Final authors notification: 30 June 2021
  • Projected publication date: Winter 2021
Seattle, Washington
 | 29 October - 1 November 2020 

The 10th Anniversary of the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) will take place in Seattle from 29 October to 1 November 2020. IEEE GHTC 2020 will share practical technology-enabled solutions addressing needs of underserved communities in resource constrained environments around the world in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

IEEE GHTC 2020 is sponsored by IEEE Region 6, IEEE Seattle Section and IEEE Society for Social Implications of Technology; with confirmed and expected Technical Co-Sponsors including: Consumer Electronics (CES), Engineering in Medicine and Biology (EMBS), Power & Energy (PES), and Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTTS) and IEEE-USA.
ISTAS 2020: Public Interest Technology
Virtual Event
 | 12-15 November 2020 

SSIT’s flagship conference, the International Symposium on Technology and Society, will take place this coming 12-15 November 2020 as a virtual event. Hosted by Arizona State University, ISTAS 2020 will convene at the same time as the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) meeting, offering new and exciting opportunities for collaboration. 

Find out more about the ISTAS theme, venue, confirmed speakers, and submission process here, and stay tuned for more information about the event in future newsletters.
IEEE 3rd Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW2020): Being Human in a Global Village
Chennai, India
   | 22-25 July 2021 

21CW2020: "Being Human in a Global Village" is the third in a series of conferences initiated by the IEEE SSIT, and follows successful events in Boston (2014) and Melbourne (2016). This series focuses on the 21st century legacy of mathematician, technologist, and philosopher Norbert Wiener, whose work in cybernetics brought ideas like complexity, computing, communications, and control to the quest for a general systems theory.

The upcoming event invites participants to consider how we – as policy makers, parents, citizens, business owners, researchers, humans – need to be proactively preparing for a new world in light of the challenges coming our way in the form of artificial intelligence, or machine learning.

This conference has three general themes:
  • The state of technologies initiated by Norbert Wiener
  • The social impact of those technologies
  • Wiener’s 1950s engagement and travels in India
More specifically, participants are invited to consider how Wiener’s work resonates with various contemporary interpretations of the concept “global village.” For example, literary scholar Sue-Im claims that it has come to designate “the dominant term for expressing a global coexistence altered by transnational commerce, migration, and culture,” while Thomas Friedman sees our world “tied together into a single globalized marketplace and village.”

In keeping with the interdisciplinary ethos of Wiener’s work, the conference invites participants from all disciplines that engage with the social implications of technology, and organizers welcome proposals for presentations or posters in a variety of formats.