The digital disruption of health research and the common good: an empirical-philosophical study.

Digital Good explores the ethical and societal challenges associated with the ’Googlisation of health’: the entrance of large consumer technology companies such as Alphabet, Apple and Amazon into the domain of health and biomedical research. Team members will conduct fieldwork to map, analyse and critically evaluate the different conceptions of the common good that motivate various stakeholders participating in research collaborations between consumer tech firms and public research institutions. Fieldwork will take place at various sites in Europe and in the USA. The empirical findings will be used to develop a normative framework for data governance in this context that can account for different and competing conceptions of the common good.


  • New publication from Lotje Siffels, Tamar Sharon and Andrew Hoffman. Siffels et al. (2021) The participatory turn in health and medicine: The rise of the civic and the need to ’give back’ in data-intensive medical research. Humanities & Social Sciences Communications.
  • Lotje Siffels is co-author on Lanzing et al. (2021) It Takes Two to Techno-Tango: An Analysis of a Close Embrace Between Google/Apple and the EU in Fighting the Pandemic Through Contact Tracing Apps. Science as Culture.
  • The Digital Good team will give a presentation called ’Digital Good: A descriptive and normative application of the orders of worth framework to the ’Googlization of health’ during the annual ESA conference, Sept. 2, 2021.
  • Tamar Sharon publishes the article Sharon (2021) From hostile worlds to multiple spheres: towards a normative pragmatics of justice for the Googlization of health. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy.
  • Marthe Stevens joins the Digital Good team in January 2021.
  • Andrew Hoffman and Tamar Sharon are co-authors on Hoffman et al. (2020) Towards a seamful ethics of Covid-19 contact tracing apps? Ethics and Information Technology.
  • Lotje Siffels publishes the article Siffels (2020) Beyond privacy vs. health: a justification analysis of the contact-tracing apps debate in the Netherlands. Ethics and Information Technology.
  • Tamar Sharon publishes the article Sharon (2020) Blind-sided by privacy? Digital Contact Tracing, the Apple/Google API and Big Tech’s Newfound Role as Global Health Policy Makers. Ethics and Information Technology.
  • The Digital Good team will organize a panel called ’Thinking beyond privacy in the ethics of human-technology relations: The case of COVID-19 contact tracing apps’ at the Philosophy of Human Technology Relations conference at Twente University, Nov. 4-7, 2020.
  • On November 25 2020, Tamar Sharon will give the annual Els Borst lecture on the loss of public values in the ongoing digitalization of health, titled ’Ontwrichtte zorg. Over het verlies van publieke waarden in de strijd om betere (digitale) gezondheid’.

solidarity & justice

knowledge & expertise


Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity (CeSCoS)


Sponsored by ERC Starting Grant ERC-2018-STG-804985 (2019-2023)


digital health

personalized medicine

big data

the common good


data commons

Googlization of health

political economy of data use

philosophy of technology

critical data studies