In this eLearning, you will discover why digital ethics is of critical importance. You will also learn what Merck's principles for digital ethics are and how you can apply them in your daily work to create better digital offerings.

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Digital Ethics

People, machines, data, and processes are increasingly interlinked in today’s world. Technological advances based on the collection of data and their processing by algorithmic systems impact society and raise new ethical questions. People’s trust is crucial if we want to seize the opportunities offered by digital progress and minimize risk.

At Merck, bioethical principles have always guided our research and development. That's because people are at the center of everything we do. In the digital age, we will maintain this focus and align ourselves with a clear set of ethical principles. In this eLearning, you will discover what these principles are exactly.


Guiding Principles

Digital progress comes with opportunities we want to seize and risks we want to minimize. That's why our digital products must be safe, reliable, and responsibly designed. Ultimately, we want to create digital innovations that have a positive impact.

To safely navigate in this new era – and establish the necessary trust for the success of our digital offerings – we have developed the Code of Digital Ethics. It gives us five core principles (each defined by 3 sub principles) that guide us on how to handle data and algorithms ethically.

We support the needs and well-being of individuals and society.


We strive to be as transparent as possible.

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We respect the autonomy of every single human being.


We stand up for justice.


We avoid doing harm.


The CoDE was approved by the GL in 2021 and has the status of a Merck Charter that all employees are expected to follow to the best of their knowledge and belief.

At Merck, we are committed to protecting human dignity.

Our principles for digital ethics, by the way, not only relate to current laws and regulations but go beyond them. We want to ensure that no matter how fast technology evolves, we always have an ethical framework at hand to help us make responsible decisions.

Such decisions can only be made if the five principles of digital ethics are considered from the very beginning in every aspect of the digital development process.

This advanced training gives provides a deep dive into the topic, along with some practical examples. It is not intended to leave you to solve ethical challenges on your own but rather to sensitize you to the topic and potential concerns.

And there's more: We've established a Digital Ethics Advisory Panel. Our businesses and new technology developers are welcome to address this panel for advice and guidance. As a first step, however, we ask that you reach out to the Digital Ethics Team. They will assist you with the initial evaluation of your issue. Contact details will be provided upon completion of the e-learning.

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