Addressing Ethical Considerations in Network Measurement Papers

TitleAddressing Ethical Considerations in Network Measurement Papers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPartridge, C., & Allman M.
Published inCommunications of the ACM
Date Published10/2016

Network measurement---because it is typically at arm's length from human beings---does not comfortably fit into the usual human-centered models for evaluating ethical research practices. Nonetheless, the network measurement community is increasingly facing ethics issues and finding itself poorly prepared. We discuss why the ethical issues appear somewhat different for network measurement, and propose that measurement papers be required to include an ethical considerations section. We believe that some of the ideas here will also prove applicable to other areas of computing systems measurement, where the researcher's attempt to measure a system may have an impact on human beings.


This article benefits from many conversations with too many colleagues to name individually. Our thanks to all of them. Bendert Zevenbergen has organized multiple ethics discussions in the past year where this work has been usefully discussed. This work is funded in part by NSF grant CNS-1237265.

ICSI Research Group

Networking and Security