Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Computer Sciences, Information Science, Ethics

Publication Details

Proceedings of Ethicomp, 20th International Conference on the Ethical and Social issues in Information and Communication Technologies, Turku, Finland, 26-28th July, 2022, pp. 258-266.

Funded within the Ethics4EU project (2019-1-IE02-KA203-000665)


We introduce the problem of technical debt, with particular focus on critical infrastructure, and put forward our view that this is a digital ethics issue. We propose that the software engineering process must adapt its current notion of technical debt – focusing on technical costs – to include the potential cost to society if the technical debt is not addressed, and the cost of analysing, modelling and understanding this ethical debt. Finally, we provide an overview of the development of educational material – based on a collection of technical debt case studies - in order to teach about technical debt and its ethical implications



European Union