Algorithmic Accountability

The Social, Cultural & Ethical Dimensions of “Big Data,” March 2014

6 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2014 Last revised: 13 Mar 2015

See all articles by Alex Rosenblat

Alex Rosenblat

Data & Society Research Institute

Tamara Kneese

University of San Francisco; Data & Society Research Institute

Danah Boyd

Data & Society Research Institute; Microsoft Research

Date Written: March 17, 2014

Abstract

Accountability is fundamentally about checks and balances to power. In theory, both government and corporations are kept accountable through social, economic, and political mechanisms. Journalism and public advocates serve as an additional tool to hold powerful institutions and individuals accountable. But in a world of data and algorithms, accountability is often murky. Beyond questions about whether the market is sufficient or governmental regulation is necessary, how should algorithms be held accountable? For example what is the role of the fourth estate in holding data-oriented practices accountable?

Keywords: algorithm, accountability, big data, data ethics, transparency, data practices

Suggested Citation

Rosenblat, Alex and Kneese, Tamara and Boyd, Danah, Algorithmic Accountability (March 17, 2014). The Social, Cultural & Ethical Dimensions of “Big Data,” March 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2535540 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2535540

Alex Rosenblat

Data & Society Research Institute ( email )

36 West 20th Street
New York,, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.datasociety.net

Tamara Kneese

University of San Francisco ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

Data & Society Research Institute ( email )

36 West 20th Street
11th Floor
New York,, NY 10011
United States

Danah Boyd (Contact Author)

Data & Society Research Institute ( email )

36 West 20th Street
11th Floor
New York,, NY 10011
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.datasociety.net

Microsoft Research ( email )

One Memorial Drive, 12th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://research.microsoft.com/

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