Ethics of Cybersecurity and Biomedical Ethics: Case SHAPES

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 50, Issue 1, p.103-116 (2021)


biomedical ethics, Cybersecurity, digital healthcare, Ethics, healthy ageing, SHAPES project, wellbeing


The SHAPES Horizon 2020 project supports the wellbeing of the elderly at home. The object of this paper is to help to provide necessary tools and guidelines to health and wellbeing service developers in the SHAPES project for their ethical consideration of cybersecurity actions. This paper examines different views and approaches to the ethics of cybersecurity in healthcare and finds the most relevant and puzzling issues for the SHAPES project. The paper investigates the ethical issues, for example, applying the approach of principlism based on four principles of biomedical ethics (respect for autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence and justice) and ethics of care. The essential aims of the employment of information and communication technology in healthcare are efficiency and quality of services, the privacy of information and confidentiality of communication, the usability of services, and safety. Four significant value clusters in cybersecurity are security, privacy, fairness, and accountability. From these four different ethical aspects (biomedical ethics, ethics of care, core value clusters in cybersecurity, and technical aims), this paper proposes a new conceptual model for a system approach to analyse the ethical matters which are related to cybersecurity in digital healthcare and wellbeing. In addition, the paper provides ethical guidelines from a cybersecurity ethics and biomedical ethics perspective for the SHAPES project.