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Data Ethics

Code of Ethics for Data-Based Value Creation

The “Code of Ethics for Data-Based Value Creation” is aimed at companies and organizations that offer services or products based on data. Its purpose is to systematically address the ethical issues that arise in the creation or use of such products and services. To this end, concrete recommendations are made, based on three ethical and three procedural values and structured by the four main steps of the data life cycle.

The Code consists of the following documents: 

1) Overview (as poster in formats A2 and A3)
2) Basics 
3) Recommendations
4) Implementation
5) Context 

The Code is available in German, English, French, and Italian and can be downloaded below. License: CC BY 4.0


Übersicht A2A3 (Deutsch)
Grundlagen (Deutsch)
Empfehlungen (Deutsch)
Implementierung (Deutsch)
Kontext (nur auf Englisch)

Overview A2A3 (English)
Basics (English)
Recommendations (English)
Implementation (English)
Context (English only)

Vue d’ensemble A2A3 (Français)
Principes fondamentaux (Fr)
Recommendations (Français)
Mise en oeuvre (Français)
Contexte (seulment en Anglais)

Panoramica A2A3 (Italiano)
Nozioni di base (Italiano)
Raccomandazioni (Italiano)
Implementazione (Italiano)
Contesto (solo in Inglese)

Expert Group

With big data comes big responsibility. Issues such as data protection, workplace surveillance, or the potential consequences of future technologies require constant ethical reflection and stakeholder dialogue. This Expert Group will offer a forum to discuss ethical issues that matter to its members in their respective contexts, enabling them to develop concrete solutions for ethical challenges. Such issues may range from professional ethics (legitimate conduct as a professional in various work-related scenarios) to organizational aspects (data collection, usage, and processing within companies) to legal and political issues (data protection, industry agreements, codes of conducts, standards and labels, and public decision-making processes). The main goal of the group is to develop and foster competence regarding ethical issues in data usage, and to make sure that state-of-the-art approaches are shared so they can be applied by group members in their respective fields.

Potential activities of the Expert Group may include:

  • discussing specific industry cases and options for ethically sound implementation of data usage;
  • organizing events with nationally and internationally renowned experts on ethics of data usage in order to exchange ideas and learn about existing standards in Switzerland and abroad;
  • developing ethical standards for companies and organizations;
  • discussing, preparing, and presenting input to political decision makers

Academic leader: Markus Christen, Uni. of Zurich, and Christoph Heitz, ZHAW Winterthur,

Industrial leader: Karin Lange, Die Mobiliar,



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