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The ethical and social implications of personalization technologies for e-learning

Toms, Elaine G.; Sheng, Quan Z.; Cristea, Alexandra I.; Ashman, Helen; Brailsford, Tim; Stewart, Craig; Toms, Elaine G; Wade, Vincent


Elaine G. Toms

Quan Z. Sheng

Alexandra I. Cristea

Helen Ashman

Craig Stewart

Elaine G Toms

Vincent Wade


Personalization in information systems can be considered beneficial but also ethically and socially harmful. Like many other technologies, the uptake of personalization has been rapid, with inadequate consideration given to its effects. Personalization in e-learning systems also has potential for both harmful and beneficial outcomes, but less is known about its effects. The ethical and social hazards include privacy compromise, lack of control, reduced individual capability, and the commodification of education. Personalization is appearing in many systems already; thus, these hazards may already be occurring. Solutions, more research and community discussion of the issues are needed. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Toms, E. G., Sheng, Q. Z., Cristea, A. I., Ashman, H., Brailsford, T., Stewart, C., …Wade, V. (2014). The ethical and social implications of personalization technologies for e-learning. Information and Management, 51(6), 819-832.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 22, 2014
Online Publication Date May 2, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Aug 14, 2018
Journal Information and Management
Print ISSN 0378-7206
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 6
Pages 819-832
Public URL
Publisher URL