The Social, Cultural & Ethical Dimensions of “Big Data,” March 2014
6 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2014 Last revised: 13 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 17, 2014
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
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