IoT
IoT
Data Management // Big Data Analytics
News
9/25/2015
10:05 AM
Lisa Morgan
Lisa Morgan
Slideshows
100%
0%
RELATED EVENTS
Core System Testing: How to Achieve Success
Oct 06, 2016
Property and Casualty Insurers have been investing in modernizing their core systems to provide fl ...Read More>>

Big Data Ethics: 8 Key Facts To Ponder

There's a lot of gray area when it comes to the ethical collection, use, and analysis of data. Consider these 8 issues organizations should ponder when assessing their data use practices.
Previous
1 of 9
Next

(Image: Geralt via Pixabay)

(Image: Geralt via Pixabay)

The volume and types of data describing individuals and organizations continue to expand, and this trend will continue as sensors make their way into more of the everyday items we use. There are fine lines that separate the use and misuse of data, and some industry associations are addressing the issue head-on with ethical guidelines. While organizations usually have stated privacy policies, more could be done to ensure the ethical use of data.

Although obvious offenses such as fraud are clearly unethical, there is a lot of gray area when it comes to the collection, use, and analysis of data. Ethical guidelines, laws, statutes, and regulations may draw many lines. Even so, questionable situations can arise at various stages of the data life cycle that can confound reasonable people and expose their organizations to risks. Knowing that, the Data Science Association has established the Data Science Code of Professional Conduct to help data scientists navigate tricky situations.

[Read more about analytics and data visualization.]

"Right now, we're just giving guidance. It's to help you, as a data scientist, do the right thing," said Michael Walker, cofounder and president of the Data Science Association. "Their clients or parent organizations can use them in tricky situations where they're going to hurt people at the macro level and hurt people at the micro level." While the Data Science Association is not enforcing its guidelines, it plans to do so in the future.

Two other examples are the American Statistical Association, which created and has an enforcement mechanism for the Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practices, and the Digital Analytics Association, which created but does not enforce the Web Analyst's Code of Ethics.

The professional associations' guidelines help promote ethical practices in specific roles. However, ethical behavior is an organizational issue. There's no single type of professional that can have sole responsibility for it. Following are some of the basics that companies should consider when measuring their own data ethics.

Lisa Morgan is a freelance writer who covers big data and BI for InformationWeek. She has contributed articles, reports, and other types of content to various publications and sites ranging from SD Times to the Economist Intelligent Unit. Frequent areas of coverage include ... View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 9
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
tomskaczmarek
50%
50%
tomskaczmarek,
User Rank: Strategist
12/2/2015 | 10:07:14 AM
Symposium on the Ethics of Big Data
Marquette University is sponsoring an inter-disciplinary symposium on the Ethics of Big Data. The event is open to all who are interested. See http://www.marquette.edu/mscs/ethics-of-big-data-symposium.shtml

If you are interested please consider our invitation or pass this information along to colleagues.
JohnA08801
100%
0%
JohnA08801,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/11/2015 | 9:36:21 AM
Re: Governance takes stage
This is an important conversation and thank you for posting. I liked this particular quote:

"There are a lot of opportunities for ethical transgressions, whether they're intentional or not, ranging from misrepresenting the quality of data, or the limitations of analysis, to using data in harmful ways."

In this technological evolution, the pendulum of societal normalcy tends to trail such fast moving development, let's keep our understanding of what a responsible society feels and believes (as a boxcar) to this new and exciting world.
pfretty494
100%
0%
pfretty494,
User Rank: Moderator
10/13/2015 | 9:57:25 PM
Governance takes stage
Grey area doesn't have a place in data collection or use. There are so many potential positives, but when organization step outside the lines, it only creates issues for everyone else. As an industry we need to be better about embracing proven governance standards and best practices for collection, management and use. Peter Fretty, Idg blogger working on behalf of SAS
pfretty494
50%
50%
pfretty494,
User Rank: Moderator
10/13/2015 | 9:57:20 PM
Governance takes stage
Grey area doesn't have a place in data collection or use. There are so many potential positives, but when organization step outside the lines, it only creates issues for everyone else. As an industry we need to be better about embracing proven governance standards and best practices for collection, management and use. Peter Fretty, Idg blogger working on behalf of SAS
6 Tools to Protect Big Data
6 Tools to Protect Big Data
Most IT teams have their conventional databases covered in terms of security and business continuity. But as we enter the era of big data, Hadoop, and NoSQL, protection schemes need to evolve. In fact, big data could drive the next big security strategy shift.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.