Elements Of Informed Consent

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Informed consent & Documentation
There was no informed consent given to the participants to be part of the dataset. It is evidence that Kirkegard and Bjerrekaer’s did not meet the 6 subsections under Part B of informed consent: (1 & 2) elements of informed consent, (3 & 4) of IRB approval of consent procedure, (5) not to preempt federal and local laws, and (6) not to limit physicians’ care.
As the researchers did not find it necessary to inform OKCupid users, no consent was obtained, nor the use of an IRB. By suggesting that the “data is already public” (Kirkegard & Bjerrekaer, 2016), it relinquishes accountability; of the harm that can arise, and the ethical issues regarding their dataset. Zimmer (2016) makes it clear that public
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This would, in effect, hide the identity of the subject, so that they are not discovered by colleagues or friends. In addition, the scrappers could be limited in what is collected to prevent personally identifiable information (PII) to be found by those who request the data set.
Fairness
Kirkegard and Bjerrekaer collected data from people who answered at least 1,000 questions on OKCupid. The researchers’ selection of subjects at first glance appears unbiased in terms of how they culled information. However, on close inspection of age there were participants under the age of 18. Schultze & Mason (2012) states that children are a vulnerable population that should be protected from exploitative research. It is incompressible to have participants under 18 to be involved in this data set. The reason is that some of the OKCupid’s questions could be very personal, and parents and guardians my want to protect their children from the exploitations and consequences of their children’s preferences from being abused.
To remedy this situation, we must go back to getting consent. However, children should not be involved in this study. The better solution here would be to limit the scrapper bots from downloading underage profiles. That way we the vulnerable population are protected.
Research involvement intended deception
Deception was used to collect data. Aside from taking the rights of the
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