Hongli Lai Phusion Blog

Who’s responsible for the software we build?

If software is eating the world, who is writing that software? You are.

Hongli Lai, Co-founder & CTO of Phusion gave a talk at his local Amsterdam.rb meetup and shared his thoughts on the impending deadline of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the impact of socially unaware software that’s eating our world.

…I feel more and more convinced we (as Phusion and as ‘builders of the web’) have a responsibility to provide a framework for thinking about the ethical implication of our creations.

Hongli continues:

We’ve seen companies suffer recently for a lack of that social responsibility (data breaches at Equifax, Facebook, Uber, etc). Public outrage was strong but also burned out quickly as the news cycled. For a while, the same quick fizzle seemed to be happening with the Facebook
and Cambridge Analytica scandal.

It’s up to us to fight back. That doesn’t mean go on twitter and rant, but to actually go an do something. Give a talk in your local area to your developer communities to create with social responsibility in mind.


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