Inferences & Connections
The Social, Cultural & Ethical Dimensions of “Big Data,” March 2014
6 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2014 Last revised: 28 Jul 2015
Date Written: March 17, 2014
Data-oriented systems are inferring relationships between people based on genetic material, behavioral patterns (e.g., shared geography imputed by phone carriers), and performed associations (e.g., "friends" online or shared photographs). What responsibilities do entities who collect data that imputes connections have to those who are implicated by association? For example, as DNA and other biological materials are collected outside of medicine (e.g., at point of arrest, by informatics services like 23andme, for scientific inquiry), what rights do relatives (living, dead, and not-yet-born) have? In what contexts is it acceptable to act based on inferred associations and in which contexts is it not?
Keywords: inferences, connections, behavioral patterns, big data, relational networks
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