Big data – ethical challenges for companies

08 Fév Big data – ethical challenges for companies

Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW)
February 2017

Authors: Christian Hauser, Helene Blumer, Markus Christen, Lorenz Hilty, Markus Huppenbauer, Tony Kaiser
Main themes: Big Data
Nature of publication: study

Who we are, what we do and who we communicate with are all now routinely recorded by countless devices. This is not targeted monitoring but rather an inherent characteristic of digital technology. In addition, data are increasingly easy to store and evaluate using ever more complex procedures. Some people view these developments as signifying tremendous potential for innovation, whilst others perceive a sword of Damocles hanging over privacy and personal freedom. Although both points of view are widely touted, the discussion of big data (and of the very term itself) remains in its infancy. To investigate this topic, experts at SATW have spent a year and a half examining big data at the interface between companies and their customers. These specialists have developed five current and potential future applications of big data and identified eight ethical standards and values that could be affected by big data. Their findings have been used to formulate recommendations for action for government and business that will aid in facilitating the development of big data technology and compliance with ethical frameworks.

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