Centre for Internet & Society

This is a four-part review of guideline documents for ethics and human rights in big data for development research. This research was produced as part of the Big Data for Development network supported by International Development Research Centre, Canada


Part #1 - Review of Principles of Ethics in Biomedical Science: Download (PDF)

Part #2 - Review of Principles of Ethics in Computer Science: Download (PDF)

Part #3 - Summary of Review of Codes of Ethics for Big Data and AI: Download (PDF)

Part #4 - Extended Review of Codes of Ethics for Big Data and AI: Download (PDF)

The rapid expansion in the volume, velocity, and variety of data available, together with the development of innovative forms of statistical analytics, is generally referred to as “big data”; though there is no single agreed upon definition of the term. Big data promises to provide new insights and solutions across a wide range of sectors. Despite enormous optimism about the scope and variety of big data’s potential applications, many remain concerned about its widespread adoption, with some scholars suggesting it could generate as many harms as benefits. The predecessor disciplines of data science such as computer sciences, applied mathematics, and statistics have traditionally managed to stay out of the scope of ethical frameworks, based on the assumption that they do not involve humans as subject of their research. While critical study into big data is still in its infancy, there is a growing belief that there are significant discontinuities between the rapid growth in big data and the ethical framework that exists to govern its use. In this set of documents, we look at them in detail.

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