Does the Dark Side of IT Present an Existential Risk to Humanity? A Postphenomenological Analysis

Paper Type

Complete

Abstract

Digital wireless technologies employ radiofrequency radiation (RFR) for communication. Concerns about adverse health effects from exposure to RFR emerged from the US military-industrial-scientific complex in the 1950s: However, public health and safety standards established in the 1960s were based on a philosophy of thermal-only risk. The weight of current scientific evidence indicates that the industry standards and public guidelines are not protective of public health and the environment as they do not consider the non-thermal risk of serious adverse health effects from day-to-day low-level RFR exposures. Drawing on the philosophy of technology and phenomenological hermeneutics, I perform a short postphenomenological analysis of the risks posed by wireless IT and the development of the industry standards and public health guidelines. The study concludes that scientists, engineers, and policymakers are responsible for a global failure to protect public health given the risks that wireless technologies pose to humanity.

Paper Number

1372

Author Connect URL

https://authorconnect.aisnet.org/conferences/AMCIS2024/papers/1372

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Does the Dark Side of IT Present an Existential Risk to Humanity? A Postphenomenological Analysis

Digital wireless technologies employ radiofrequency radiation (RFR) for communication. Concerns about adverse health effects from exposure to RFR emerged from the US military-industrial-scientific complex in the 1950s: However, public health and safety standards established in the 1960s were based on a philosophy of thermal-only risk. The weight of current scientific evidence indicates that the industry standards and public guidelines are not protective of public health and the environment as they do not consider the non-thermal risk of serious adverse health effects from day-to-day low-level RFR exposures. Drawing on the philosophy of technology and phenomenological hermeneutics, I perform a short postphenomenological analysis of the risks posed by wireless IT and the development of the industry standards and public health guidelines. The study concludes that scientists, engineers, and policymakers are responsible for a global failure to protect public health given the risks that wireless technologies pose to humanity.

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