The Ethics of Big Data
This study, carried out to support the activities of the EESC, explores the ethical dimensions of Big Data in an attempt to balance them with the need for economic growth within the EU. In the first part of the study an in-depth review of the available literature was carried out, to highlight ethical issues connected with Big Data. Five actions were devised as tools to strike the balance described above. The second phase of the study involved interviews with a number of key stakeholders and conducting a survey that acquired information on the general knowledge of the issues connected to the use of Big Data. Feedback on the proposed balancing actions was also sought and taken into consideration in the final analysis. Attitudes as emerged from interviews and survey most often ranged from concerned to worried, while benefits of Big Data were seldom discussed by the respondents. Benefits are intrinsic to Big Data, as well as risks, and they are discussed more broadly throughout the study.
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