Towards integrating human values into software: mapping principles and rights of GDPR to values

Harsha Perera, Waqar Hussain, Davoud Mougouei, Rifat Ara Shams, Arif Nurwidyantoro, Jon Whittle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Software has become an integral part of human life. This gives rise to the need of developing software that respects human values such as transparency, fairness and privacy. Software that compromises on human values (e.g. privacy) can affect people's reputation and impinges on their ability to function in society with the usual freedom and autonomy. Integrating human values into software is, however, a challenging task due to its imprecise and subjective nature. Enforcing regulations is one way to make software development considerate of the desired standards and values. The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on software is one such effort to protect EU citizens' data and personal information. GDPR prescribes data protection principles and data subject rights mainly to protect user privacy. Looking beyond privacy, we studied GDPR to identify the extent to which it covers human values. We mapped GDPR's data protection principles and data subject rights to a widely accepted human values structure adopted from social sciences. Our results show that GDPR addresses not only privacy but also several other human values including power, security and universalism. Moreover, fairness and transparency stand out as the most value-conscious principles prescribed in GDPR.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 27th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference
EditorsDaniela Damian, Anna Perini
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728139128
ISBN (Print)9781728139135
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventIEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference 2019 - Jeju Island, Korea, Republic of (South)
Duration: 23 Sep 201927 Sep 2019
Conference number: 27th (Proceedings)


ConferenceIEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleRE 2019
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of (South)
CityJeju Island
Internet address


  • GDPR
  • Human Values
  • Software Requirement

Cite this