speed-of-innovation-100607224-carousel.idge

Mind your analytics – or get ready for ethical hot water

Mind your analytics – or get ready for ethical hot water

 

It's no secret that the implications of big data extend far beyond organizational benefits into the societal and ethical realm, but market researcher Gartner predicts that the improper use of big data analytics will cause half of all business ethics violations by 2018. The best-known example in this area may be the oft-told case of Target's pregnancy-prediction algorithm, which led the retail giant to deduce that a 15-year-old girl in Minnesota was expecting a baby.It wasn't until the girl began receiving coupons for baby-related items that her family caught on. There may be a fine line between what's acceptable and not.

"Many of these violations happen unwittingly," said Alan Duncan, a research director for analytics at Gartner. "We expect to be able to understand behavior by using data as a proxy; what you end up with is a level of unawareness on both ends."

It's a learning curve similar to what's often required when new technologies are introduced.

Read Also:
Machine Learning is the Solution to the Big Data Problem Caused by the IoT

"If we go back 100 or so years to the very first motor cars, there was a guy who used to walk in front of each car with a red flag to warn pedestrians," Duncan said. "People didn't know how to interact with the 'driverless carriage.'"

There may be a fine line between what's acceptable and not. While most consumers have become comfortable with the idea of putting personal information on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, they're not necessarily comfortable when companies "scrape" that data for a better understanding of them.

For example, if an insurance company starts sending fitness-related messages to consumers who have recently bought Fitbit devices, those people won't always welcome them.

"We see a huge amount of risk for companies to go blindly into using the data," Duncan said. "The data is amoral -- there is no good or bad, it just is. It's the human choices we then make that make the difference, and that's what data ethics is."

Read Also:
Enterprises still slow to democratize big data

Much of it is still a gray area, and that's largely because the legal rules haven't yet caught up.

Regarding big data, the law doesn't say much yet about what businesses can do, he said. At the same time, there are areas where people frequently say "'that's creepy,' or 'unfair' or 'sleazy.'"

It often comes down to ethical principles to help a brand establish trust and reputation and develop brand identity.



Data Innovation Summit 2017

30
Mar
2017
Data Innovation Summit 2017

30% off with code 7wData

Read Also:
IBM Wants to Push Spark, Real-Time Big Data Tool, Into Mainstream

Big Data Innovation Summit London

30
Mar
2017
Big Data Innovation Summit London

$200 off with code DATA200

Read Also:
Microsoft just put a data center under water

Enterprise Data World 2017

2
Apr
2017
Enterprise Data World 2017

$200 off with code 7WDATA

Read Also:
Data Science vs Big Data, What´s the difference?

Data Visualisation Summit San Francisco

19
Apr
2017
Data Visualisation Summit San Francisco

$200 off with code DATA200

Read Also:
Google Offers Free Cloud Access to Colleges, Plays Catch Up to Amazon, Microsoft (EdSurge News)
Read Also:
US plans to partner with Google to curb rail crossing accidents

Chief Analytics Officer Europe

25
Apr
2017
Chief Analytics Officer Europe

15% off with code 7WDCAO17

Read Also:
10 Business Intelligence Trends for 2016

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *