Data Ethics Canvas

The Data Ethics Canvas, developed by the Open Data Institute, provides tools to address ethical questions during the design and development of a project or product based on data, such as an AI application. This tool consists of the canvas and a user manual, which are offered online for free, and an accompanying live training.

The Open Data Institute is a non-profit founded in 2012 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Ladbolt. The ODI is committed to innovative use of open data applications and an open and reliable open data ecosystem.

What you should know before reading further:

  • Process phase: Problem analysis and ideation, evaluation and iteration
  • System component: Entire application, users, context AI system
  • Price: tools and guide are free, training is charged
  • Time indication: 4 hours


To use this method, you must first read the free guide thoroughly or take a half-day training (for a fee). You can follow this training at the Open Data Institute.


The method itself consists of a half-day workshop in which the development team addresses the questions raised in the tool. The team answers the questions where possible, and regularly re-evaluates the answers given on the canvas. It is also recommended to do a closing session, so that the canvas is adapted to the final version of the AI application.


The result of this tool is that you have gained insight into the possible ethical impact of your technology. By using this method at multiple moments, the ethical impact remains a focus throughout the entire process.

Values as mentioned in the tool Related
  • data laws
  • Privacy & Data governance
  • bias
  • Diversity, Non-discrimination & Fairness
  • data collection
  • monopoly
  • democracy

This tool was not developed by the Knowledge Center Data & Society. We describe the tool on our website because it can help you deal with ethical, legal or social aspects of AI applications. The Knowledge Center is not responsible for the quality of the tool.