Big Data Can Trap You, Beware!
By Rabail Inshra Cheema | 20th May 2023
In today’s interconnected world, the abundance of data knows no bounds. It is continuously being shared and utilized as users entrust tech companies with personal information like email addresses, phone numbers, social media profiles, and banking details. With such huge amounts of data being generated every day, data has emerged as the new oil, recognized for its immense value in the modern digital landscape.
Data sharing, despite its potential benefits, has its drawbacks. Once the data is shared, companies must prioritize user privacy and security to prevent biases, privacy breaches, and erosion of trust in data-driven systems. Yahoo, a global internet brand and services provider, experienced a massive data breach where 500 million accounts were compromised, exposing personal information like names, emails, and passwords.
Thus, ethics should be a priority for analysts, data scientists, and IT professionals. Companies around the world today are ensuring the ethical use of data due to cybersecurity attacks and legal risks. Adhering to ethical practices not only keeps one out of legal trouble but also amplifies expertise in data science.
Best Practices For Ethical Use Of Data:
Ethical considerations are crucial in the ever-growing field of data analysis. We’ll be discovering some essential ethical practices to aid data analysts in navigating data collection, interpretation, and decision-making challenges effectively.
As part of their role, data scientists handle a wide range of information, including sensitive data concerning clients, customers, and employees with confidentiality agreements. They must maintain the utmost privacy and disclose this data solely with explicit customer consent. Today, Apple Inc. is working towards ensuring privacy that is polishing its reputation, and strengthening its brand image by levelling up the privacy game.
When making decisions, data scientists should always consider the importance of consulting with the client, even if the decision is favourable for the project. Both data scientists and clients must have a mutual understanding of the project’s aims and objectives.
Fostering transparency is a crucial practice for ethics in data analysis. In this way, analysts and organizations provide clarity on how they collect data, process it, and generate insights. Transparency fosters responsible data analysis by promoting open communication. Facebook has addressed data privacy concerns by enhancing transparency, offering features like the “Why am I seeing this?” tool for personalized ads insights.
Data quality holds immense significance as an ethical benchmark in data analysis. When data is accurate, consistent, and complete, it enhances the reliability of the insights and outcomes. It protects individuals’ rights and upholds ethical standards in data-driven processes by establishing responsible data practices.
Incorporating fairness as a measure of ethics in data analysis. It helps to ensure that decisions made using data are fair and unbiased. According to Capgemini, a leading strategic partner to tech companies around the world, companies can gain the trust of their customers and stakeholders by incorporating fair practices across the board, thereby increasing their competitive edge.
As data-driven technologies continue to advance, it becomes increasingly crucial to address the ethical implications and challenges that arise. Upholding ethical standards is crucial for individuals, organizations, and society in the dynamic field of data science. Such guidelines should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that they keep up with the ever-evolving data landscape. According to a Forbes Insight report, 46% of organizations suffered reputational damage due to a data breach. Neglecting ethical norms in data science can result in legal, reputational, and trust consequences with severe consequences.