Special section introduction: Ubiquitous IT and digital vulnerabilities

Sam Ransbotham, Robert G. Fichman, Ram Gopal, Alok Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


While information technology benefits society in numerous ways, it unfortunately also has potential to create new vulnerabilities. This special issue intends to stimulate thought and research into understanding and mitigating these vulnerabilities. We identify four mechanisms by which ubiquitous computing makes various entities (people, devices, organizations, societies, etc.) more vulnerable, including: increased visibility, enhanced cloaking, increased interconnectedness, and decreased costs. We use the papers in the special issue to explain these mechanisms, and then outline a research agenda for future work on digital vulnerabilities spanning four areas that are, or could become, significant societal problems with implications at multiple levels of analysis: Online harassment and incivility, technology-driven economic inequality, industrial Internet of Things, and algorithmic ethics and bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-847
Number of pages14
JournalInformation Systems Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 INFORMS.


  • Algorithmic bias
  • Algorithmic ethics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Economic inequality
  • Internet of things
  • Online harassment


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