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Value Conflicts and Social Choice in Electronic Funds Transfer System Developments

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128323D
Original Publication Date: 1978-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-15
Document File: 29 page(s) / 97K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Rob Kling: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

During the last few years, computer-based systems which automate tile transfer anu recording of dE!bits and credits have begun to be i,auplemented on a large scale. These systems promise both financial benefits for tne institutions that use them and potential conveniences to their customers. However they also raise significant social, le(jal , a i id techni ca I questions that must be resolved if full-scale systemis for,Electronic Funds Transfer- (EFT) are not to cause more problems for the larger public than they solve. This paper examines the incentives, for EFI 11 devolopments and the social problems they raise in the context of conflicts between five different value positions triat are often implicit in analyses of proposed EFT arrangements. These conflicts reflect the relative importance of certain problems tor specific groups. The value positions implicit in EFT proposals ne.Ids or,3anize analyses of market arrangements, system reliability, and privacy ot transactions. 'These topics are analyzed in this paper and related to tne value positions held by- concerned parties.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Value Conflicts and Social Choice in Electronic Funds Transfer System Developments

Rob Kling

ABSTRACT

During the last few years, computer-based systems which automate tile transfer anu recording of dE!bits and credits have begun to be i,auplemented on a large scale. These systems promise both financial benefits for tne institutions that use them and potential conveniences to their customers. However they also raise significant social, le(jal , a i id techni ca I questions that must be resolved if full-scale systemis for,Electronic Funds Transfer- (EFT) are not to cause more problems for the larger public than they solve. This paper examines the incentives, for EFI 11 devolopments and the social problems they raise in the context of conflicts between five different value positions triat are often implicit in analyses of proposed EFT arrangements. These conflicts reflect the relative importance of certain problems tor specific groups. The value positions implicit in EFT proposals ne.Ids or,3anize analyses of market arrangements, system reliability, and privacy ot transactions. 'These topics are analyzed in this paper and related to tne value positions held by- concerned parties.

Last, the ways in which the public can learn about the social c~uallities of different arrangements and the pace of EFT developments are discussed in the context of social choice.

CR. Categories: 2.11, 2.12, 2.3, 3.52, 3.53, 3.55

Key Words: Electronic Fund Tran.sfer Systems, Social Impacts of Computing, Privacy, Social Choice, Computer Networks, Network Reliability, Security, Social Values

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Acknowledgements:

Paul Armer, Russel Dewey', Bernard Galler, C.C. Gotli . eb, Lance Hoffman, and Dail McCracken provided helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript [331.

Robert Ashenhurst, Bruce Gilchrist, James Meehan, James Rule, and the referees provided helpful comments on this more extens.,Lve version.

2. Value -Positions for Assessing EFT Systems

EFT systems are a technical instrument; a means to some end. Proposals for preferred EFT arrangments often assume that certain social goods should be maximized. Five ma]or value orientations are implicit in the published discussions of EFT systems.

University of California, Irvine Page 1 Dec 31, 1978

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Value Conflicts and Social Choice in Electronic Funds Transfer System Developments

1. Private Enterprise Model: The preeminent consideration is profitability of the EFT systems with the highest social good being the profitability of the firms providing or utilizing the systems. other social goods such as users' privacy or the need of the government for data are Secondary[631.

2. Statist Model: The strength and efficiency of government institutions is the highest goal!. Government needs for access to personal data on citizens and needs for mechanisms to enforce obiiyations to the state would always prevail over other consideration...