Matthew Collins on “The Ethics of Big Data”

February 26 @ 2-3:30, Claudia Nance Rollins Building room 4001

The workshop will raise questions about potential ethical dilemmas that arise when working with large data sets (‘big data’). Large data sets related to human subjects, such as digital patient records, genomes, students records (Blackboard?), and consumer purchasing, are becoming more widely available for data mining and research. Use of these data sets in calculating trends and/or predicting outcomes raises potential ethical issues. The workshop will explore examples that raise such issues.

Target audience: Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural/Biological/Biomedical Science Students

Format: Workshop. 20-minute topic introduction and distribution of examples to small groups. 40 minutes of small group discussions of examples. 30 minutes to report out to and discuss with larger group.

See below for  links to some of the articles discussed during the workshop:

“Beware the Big Errors of ‘Big Data’ | Wired Opinion |” Wired Opinion. Accessed February 12, 2013.

“The Case for Selective Paternalism in Genetic Testing | Wired Science |” Wired Science. Accessed January 15, 2013.

“Embrace Your Dangerous Genome | Wired Science |” Wired Science. Accessed January 15, 2013.

“The Flip Side of Database Snooping – CNET News.” CNET. Accessed February 17, 2013.

Duhigg, Charles. “How Companies Learn Your Secrets.” The New York Times, February 16, 2012, sec. Magazine.

Kolata, Gina. “Search of DNA Sequences Reveals Full Identities.” The New York Times, January 17, 2013, sec. Health.

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