Inequalities and Asymmetries

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

7 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2014 Last revised: 30 Dec 2014

See all articles by Tamara Kneese

Tamara Kneese

University of San Francisco; Data & Society Research Institute

Alex Rosenblat

Data & Society Research Institute

Danah Boyd

Data & Society Research Institute; Microsoft Research

Date Written: March 17, 2014

Abstract

The availability of data is not evenly distributed. Some organizations, agencies, and sectors are better equipped to gather, use, and analyze data than others. If data is transformative, what are the consequences of defense and security agencies having greater capacity to leverage data than, say, education or social services? Financial wherewithal, technical capacity, and political determinants all affect where data is employed. As data and analytics emerge, who benefits and who doesn't, both at the individual level and the institutional level? What about the asymmetries between those who provide the data and those who collect it? How does uneven data access affect broader issues of inequality? In what ways does data magnify or combat asymmetries in power?

Keywords: data analytics, data inequality, information asymmetry, asymmetric power, big data

Suggested Citation

Kneese, Tamara and Rosenblat, Alex and Boyd, Danah, Inequalities and Asymmetries (March 17, 2014). The Social, Cultural & Ethical Dimensions of “Big Data,” March 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2538558 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2538558

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

Alex Rosenblat

Data & Society Research Institute ( email )

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

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

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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