Front cover

Human ICT Implants: Technical, Legal and Ethical Considerations
Series: Information Technology and Law Series

October 2012 Editor: Dr Mark N. Gasson, University of Reading, UK
Editor: Dr Eleni Kosta, KU Leuven, Belgium
Editor: Asst. Prof. Diana M. Bowman, University of Michigan, USA



  • Published: October 2012
  • Pages: xii + 184 pp., 12 ill. (8 fc)
  • Publisher: T.M.C. ASSER PRESS
  • Distributor: Springer

Considered by many to be science fiction, information and communication technology (ICT) has been implanted into the human body for years. Medical human ICT implants such as cochlear implants are in common use, forming intimate links between technology and the body. Such restorative devices are increasingly advanced, with some directly interacting with the brain and others near outperforming their natural counterpart.

Recently, low-tech human ICT implants have been increasingly employed in non-therapeutic contexts. Applications include VIP nightclub entry, automated payments and controlling secure access. With self-experimenters pushing boundaries and medical technology drifting into non-medical application, this is clearly just the beginning. Opportunities for human enhancement through ICT implants have become very real.

Despite stakeholders calling for greater legal certainty, gaps have already emerged between the commercial reality of human ICT implants and the legal frameworks used to regulate them. It is not surprising that increasing commercialisation and a growing potential has generated a debate on the ethical, legal and social aspects of the technology, its products and application, as well as its trajectory.

The contributors to this book, all leaders in their respective fields, not only focus on the latest technological developments, but also the legal, social and ethical implications of the use and further application of these technologies.

Mark N. Gasson is a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading, UK. Eleni Kosta is a Senior Legal Researcher in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law & ICT (ICRI), Faculty of Law, KU Leuven, Belgium. Diana M. Bowman is an Assistant Professor in the Risk Science Centre and the Department of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, USA and a Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Law, KU Leuven, Belgium.

With a foreword by Professor Rafael Capurro, International Centre for Information Ethics (ICIE); Distinguished Researcher in Information Ethics, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA

Specific to this book:

  • The first book that examines the implications of human ICT implants
  • Provides a thorough examination of not only the technical issues but also approaches the issue from a legal, technical and ethical perspective
  • Raises questions and creates a roadmap for addressing some of the abovementioned issues

This is Volume 23 in the Information Technology and Law (IT&Law) Series

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