Skip down to main content

Workshop “Understanding the Responsibilities of Online Service Providers in Information Societies”

With Professor Mariarosaria Taddeo, Dr Ewa Lurger, Dr Peggy Valcke, Simon Morrison, Dr Liliana Arroyo Moliner, Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Richard Harper, Dr Dennis Broeders, Professor Christophe Lütge, Professor Burkhard Schafer, and Professor Luciano Floridi
Date & Time:
09:00 - 18:00,
Friday 9 October, 2015


In contemporary information societies Online Service Providers (OSPs) – such as for example AOL, Apple, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo! – are major actors, which significantly influence the informational environment and users’ interactions within it. Such a role is unprecedented and problematic for OSPs as well as for other stakeholders, like governments and citizens’ groups.

The need to understand the responsibilities that OPSs bear in contemporary information societies is thus fast escalating and addressing it need requires a coordinated interdisciplinary theorising able to consider legal, social, and ethical standpoints. The workshop will be a major occasion to gather leading experts from different fields in order to share information and views. Contributions to the workshop will address issues concerning:

  • The role of OSPs in contemporary information societies, whether and to what extent their role differs from the one of publishers, mass-media, and gate-keepers;
  • The moral responsibilities of OSPs in contemporary societies;
  • Ethical frameworks for the understanding of OSPs responsibilities, e.g. corporate social responsibilities or human rights;
  • The gap in OSPs’ policies and possible strategies to overcome it;
  • The gap in existing legal frameworks regulating OSPs.

Call and Edited Volume

500-word abstracts (MS Word or PDF format) should be submitted to Dr Mariarosaria Taddeo by August 1, 2015. All submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the workshop organizers, Professor Luciano Floridi and Dr Mariarosaria Taddeo, and authors will be notified of the outcome by August 17, 2015.

Authors of the accepted abstracts will be invited to participate in the workshop and to submit a full paper by November 2, 2015, for peer-review and publication in a dedicated edited volume.


Click the links to view a recording of the session:

Start End Schedule
08:45:00 09:00:00 Registration
09:00:00 09:10:00 Welcome & Opening Remarks
09:10:00 09:30:00 Framing the workshop: moral responsibilities of online service providers

09:30:00 09:50:00 Responsibilities of OSPs from a business ethics point of view 

09:50:00 10:10:00 Does great profit come with great responsibility? OSPs’ power and the need for public-private diplomatic relations

10:11:00 10:30:00 Evidence about reasons: the case for studies of organisational action in Online providers

10:30:00 11:10:00 Discussion
11:10:00 11:40:00 Coffee Break
11:40:00 12:00:00 The European political economy of intermediaries and platforms

12:00:00 12:20:00 Online privacy: turning rights into commodities?

12:20:00 12:40:00 Responsibilities of OSPs – new perspective for the economics of information

12:40:00 13:00:00 The challenges of scale, do we need new tools to deal with bad / illegal / harmful material on an ever-expanding Internet?

  • Simon Morrison, Public Policy and Government Relations Google
13:00:00 13:30:00 Discussion
13:30:00 14:30:00 Lunch
14:30:00 14:50:00 Did the Romans get it right? A legal analysis of what Google, eBay, UPC TeleKabel Wien and Delfi have in common

14:50:00 15:10:00 We are the victim here – Data breach notification duties and the duties of victims in the criminal law of democratic states

15:10:00 15:30:00 The cost-benefit analysis of intermediary deputization: mitigation of legal risks by enhancing transparency in OSPs’ policies

15:30:00 16:10:00 Discussion
16:10:00 16:40:00 Coffee Break
16:40:00 17:00:00 The gap in the EU Legal Framework Regulating OSPs’ security obligations

17:00:00 17:20:00 Towards fostering compliance by design, drawing designers into the regulatory frame

17:20:00 17:40:00 The New Grey Power

17:40:00 19:00:00 Discussion & Closing Remarks
18:20:00 19:00:00 Wine Reception
19:30:00 19:30:00 Dinner at Oriel College, Oxford

Related Topics