January 12, 2022

What is Data Ethics?

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Mark Rowan

Data may be utilized to make decisions and have a large influence. However, this valuable resource is not without its drawbacks. How can businesses acquire, keep, and use data in an ethical manner? What are the rights that must be protected? The discipline of data ethics investigates these issues and proposes a number of guiding principles for data-handling business personnel.

Do you want to better understand the concept of data ethics and how it relates to data governance? This guide will breakdown the core concepts involved in data ethics and data privacy. We’ll also explore how data ethics is starting to influence business leaders and the decisions that they make.

What is Data Ethics?

Data ethics is a fairly complex concept, but it can be broken down into simple terms. Basically, data ethics refers to a set of rules that governs what is acceptable and what is not in terms of protecting customer, client, user, and employee data. Data ethics can include the following core components:

  • How data is handled. This includes generation, recording, curation, processing, distribution, sharing, and use of data.
  • Algorithms in the context of data use and storage. Artificial intelligence, artificial agents, machine learning, and robotics are all examples of algorithms.
  • Organizational practices: Responsible innovation, programming, hacking, and professional codes are examples of common organizational practices.

Data ethics builds on the foundation laid by computer and information ethics while also refining the methodology previously approved in this subject by moving the degree of abstraction of ethical inquiries from information-centric to data-centric. Data ethics, for example, focuses on third-party behaviors with individuals' data, whereas information ethics covers media, journalism, and library and information science more widely.

Data ethics violations are prompting legal action nowadays. Data ethics guidelines are drafted, published, and enforced by national and international governments. The General Data Protection Regulation(also known as GDPR) of the European Union, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (also known as HIPAA), and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also known as FERPA) are some examples of global data privacy and ethics regulations. Furthermore, local states, regions, and provinces are proposing more expansive data ethics legislation, such as the relatively new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Both data governance and legal counsel are responsible for supervising compliance with data ethics guidelines and resolving any violations on a local or company level.

Is Data Ethics Beneficial for Organizations?

At first glance, the concept of data ethics may seem like a headache for organization leaders. However, investing in good data ethics practices can be very beneficial for businesses.

With algorithms becoming more common and without a specific regulated protocols of ethics, organizations must create a transparent data ethics strategy, that can provide the following benefits: trustworthiness, reputation improvement, and data privacy regulatory compliance.

Trust between organizations and consumers is a big benefit of data ethics. Businesses that apply the fundamental ethical principles of fairness, privacy, openness, and accountability to their AI models and output may maintain confidence in how they utilize their data, which improves their reputation and brand value.

Engaging in good data ethics practices can also improve the reputation of companies. Unintentional bias may seep in from unexpected places and have a detrimental influence on company choices. Companies that follow data ethics principles and standards can show that they make decisions fairly and correctly, which will improve their reputation.

Compliance with data privacy laws is another major benefit of data ethics. One might see regulatory compliance as a roadblock for many different sectors. However, following data privacy regulations can only improve the way organizations operate, both from a legal standpoint and an ethical standpoint. Existing data privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer PrivacyAct (CCPA) do not specifically address ethics, but there is a lot of overlap between essential privacy standards like lawfulness and responsibility and artificial intelligence ethical concepts. As a result, maintaining ethical AI contributes to data privacy compliance.

Relevant News About Data Ethics

Data ethics might seem like just a casual concept in the business world. However, data ethics is extremely relevant today. There has been a lot of relevant news and legislation surrounding data ethics in just the last decade.

The Edward Snowden revelations in 2013 constituted a watershed moment in the public discussion on data ethics. The continued revelation of hacked papers has disclosed previously unknown facts about the US National Security Agency's global monitoring apparatus, which is conducted in close collaboration with a variety of partners. 

There's also the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal to consider. This issue includes the collecting of personal information from up to, but most likely more than, 87 million Facebook users in order to sway voter opinion. Both the 2016 Brexit referendum and the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the United States paid Cambridge Analytica to utilize data from the data leak to sway voter sentiment.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in the European Union in 2018. GDPR addresses data controllers' transparency toward individuals, referred to as data subjects, as well as the necessity for data subjects' authorization to process their personal data.

 We can expect even more news and regulations to enter into the Data world in the coming years.

Why is Data Ethics Important?

Because there must be a common foundation for what organizations may and cannot do with the data they acquire from people, data ethics is critical. While there is still a lot of grey space in this terrain and nothing is really black and white, all experts agree on five things that should be implemented.

Customer data that is private and confidential, as well as the identity of the person who has access to that data, must be kept private and secret. It's fine if data is acquired with a person's knowledge, but it should never be revealed or supplied to other firms if their personal identity is linked to the data in any way. Customers who give out their data should have a comprehensive, open, and transparent picture of how their data is used, including if it is being sold for reasons other than those for which it was collected, and they should be able to restrict the flow of their personal data.

It is also acknowledged that data should never be allowed to obstruct human decision-making. This information should never be used to decide who a person is before another person has the opportunity to form their own opinions about them. One of the most important, complicated, and contentious concerns in data ethics is how personal data may lead to unjust prejudice. The most serious issues are sexism and racism. This bias can originate from people, but it can also come from algorithms and machine learning. They can learn to form unconscious prejudices depending on a variety of factors.

These are only a handful of the major topics and ideas that are being intensively concentrated on right now when it comes to data ethics and sensitive data. When it comes to the foundations and construction of data ethics, there is still a lot to learn, discuss, and evolve.

January 12, 2022

What is Data Ethics?

Date:
Hosted By:
Register Now

Data may be utilized to make decisions and have a large influence. However, this valuable resource is not without its drawbacks. How can businesses acquire, keep, and use data in an ethical manner? What are the rights that must be protected? The discipline of data ethics investigates these issues and proposes a number of guiding principles for data-handling business personnel.

Do you want to better understand the concept of data ethics and how it relates to data governance? This guide will breakdown the core concepts involved in data ethics and data privacy. We’ll also explore how data ethics is starting to influence business leaders and the decisions that they make.

What is Data Ethics?

Data ethics is a fairly complex concept, but it can be broken down into simple terms. Basically, data ethics refers to a set of rules that governs what is acceptable and what is not in terms of protecting customer, client, user, and employee data. Data ethics can include the following core components:

  • How data is handled. This includes generation, recording, curation, processing, distribution, sharing, and use of data.
  • Algorithms in the context of data use and storage. Artificial intelligence, artificial agents, machine learning, and robotics are all examples of algorithms.
  • Organizational practices: Responsible innovation, programming, hacking, and professional codes are examples of common organizational practices.

Data ethics builds on the foundation laid by computer and information ethics while also refining the methodology previously approved in this subject by moving the degree of abstraction of ethical inquiries from information-centric to data-centric. Data ethics, for example, focuses on third-party behaviors with individuals' data, whereas information ethics covers media, journalism, and library and information science more widely.

Data ethics violations are prompting legal action nowadays. Data ethics guidelines are drafted, published, and enforced by national and international governments. The General Data Protection Regulation(also known as GDPR) of the European Union, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (also known as HIPAA), and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also known as FERPA) are some examples of global data privacy and ethics regulations. Furthermore, local states, regions, and provinces are proposing more expansive data ethics legislation, such as the relatively new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Both data governance and legal counsel are responsible for supervising compliance with data ethics guidelines and resolving any violations on a local or company level.

Is Data Ethics Beneficial for Organizations?

At first glance, the concept of data ethics may seem like a headache for organization leaders. However, investing in good data ethics practices can be very beneficial for businesses.

With algorithms becoming more common and without a specific regulated protocols of ethics, organizations must create a transparent data ethics strategy, that can provide the following benefits: trustworthiness, reputation improvement, and data privacy regulatory compliance.

Trust between organizations and consumers is a big benefit of data ethics. Businesses that apply the fundamental ethical principles of fairness, privacy, openness, and accountability to their AI models and output may maintain confidence in how they utilize their data, which improves their reputation and brand value.

Engaging in good data ethics practices can also improve the reputation of companies. Unintentional bias may seep in from unexpected places and have a detrimental influence on company choices. Companies that follow data ethics principles and standards can show that they make decisions fairly and correctly, which will improve their reputation.

Compliance with data privacy laws is another major benefit of data ethics. One might see regulatory compliance as a roadblock for many different sectors. However, following data privacy regulations can only improve the way organizations operate, both from a legal standpoint and an ethical standpoint. Existing data privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer PrivacyAct (CCPA) do not specifically address ethics, but there is a lot of overlap between essential privacy standards like lawfulness and responsibility and artificial intelligence ethical concepts. As a result, maintaining ethical AI contributes to data privacy compliance.

Relevant News About Data Ethics

Data ethics might seem like just a casual concept in the business world. However, data ethics is extremely relevant today. There has been a lot of relevant news and legislation surrounding data ethics in just the last decade.

The Edward Snowden revelations in 2013 constituted a watershed moment in the public discussion on data ethics. The continued revelation of hacked papers has disclosed previously unknown facts about the US National Security Agency's global monitoring apparatus, which is conducted in close collaboration with a variety of partners. 

There's also the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal to consider. This issue includes the collecting of personal information from up to, but most likely more than, 87 million Facebook users in order to sway voter opinion. Both the 2016 Brexit referendum and the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the United States paid Cambridge Analytica to utilize data from the data leak to sway voter sentiment.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in the European Union in 2018. GDPR addresses data controllers' transparency toward individuals, referred to as data subjects, as well as the necessity for data subjects' authorization to process their personal data.

 We can expect even more news and regulations to enter into the Data world in the coming years.

Why is Data Ethics Important?

Because there must be a common foundation for what organizations may and cannot do with the data they acquire from people, data ethics is critical. While there is still a lot of grey space in this terrain and nothing is really black and white, all experts agree on five things that should be implemented.

Customer data that is private and confidential, as well as the identity of the person who has access to that data, must be kept private and secret. It's fine if data is acquired with a person's knowledge, but it should never be revealed or supplied to other firms if their personal identity is linked to the data in any way. Customers who give out their data should have a comprehensive, open, and transparent picture of how their data is used, including if it is being sold for reasons other than those for which it was collected, and they should be able to restrict the flow of their personal data.

It is also acknowledged that data should never be allowed to obstruct human decision-making. This information should never be used to decide who a person is before another person has the opportunity to form their own opinions about them. One of the most important, complicated, and contentious concerns in data ethics is how personal data may lead to unjust prejudice. The most serious issues are sexism and racism. This bias can originate from people, but it can also come from algorithms and machine learning. They can learn to form unconscious prejudices depending on a variety of factors.

These are only a handful of the major topics and ideas that are being intensively concentrated on right now when it comes to data ethics and sensitive data. When it comes to the foundations and construction of data ethics, there is still a lot to learn, discuss, and evolve.

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