LIMITS '21 Paper
Despite low public awareness, significant social and environmental impacts are associated with computer hardware manufacturing. Particularly, many consumers do not know about conflict minerals, which are used in electronics’ components and whose extraction is associated with widespread human rights abuses and environmental destruction. The literature about these minerals focuses on explaining the conflict as well as commenting and describing the legislation and other solutions that have emerged over the years to tackle this issue. This study aims to investigate the public awareness around these topics amongst computing professionals. Through an online survey, the level of familiarity of such professionals with conflict minerals was analyzed, as well as their knowledge about other socio-environmental impacts of the electronics industry. This study unveils the ignorance in the computer science community about this issue and proposes ways in which this gap of knowledge could be filled.