Defining a Method for Recognizing and Discussing Ethical Dilemmas during Requirements Elicitation
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In this day and age where software and humans are increasingly intertwined with one another, requirements engineering has a more direct impact on human lives than ever before. This development raises ethical dilemmas when eliciting these requirements. Consequently, recent literature on requirements elicitation stresses the need to incorporate ethical considerations into this process of elicitation. The intent of this research is to investigate how ethical considerations can be incorporated systematically into the requirements engineering so possible ethical dilemmas can be tackled from the beginning of software development. Therefore, the research goal is creating a method that supports in recognizing, and discussing, ethical dilemmas during the requirements elicitation process. This research proposes a 5-step method to answer this research goal. The method consists of the following steps: Elicitate requirements, Identify the requirements where ethical dilemmas could occur, Discuss the ethical dilemmas, Storing the ethical dilemmas and 5. Solving the ethical dilemmas. By adhering to this method, ethical dilemmas are recognized at the beginning of a software project, subsequently be tackled, and solved. Validations, by means of a case study and expert interviews, show a strong support of this novel method by praising its effectiveness and ease of use. This research paves the way for further incorporation of ethics into requirements elicitation by providing a foundation on which to work from.