Big Data: Social Processes and Ethical Issues
HT 2021, Helfart, Norrköping
The course is about ethical issues related to the use of big data. It also considers social processes involving diverse actors who interact with digital platforms, produce and store big data, and analyse those data. Issues related to individual privacy, anonymity, and confidentiality are discussed. Unique ethical concerns that arise from the production of big data are scrutinized, including representativeness, sample selection, non-human and bad faith actors, and the reproduction of social biases through AI and machine learning. Social research and organizational decision-making processes that rely on big data are critiqued on this basis. The course also investigates the motivations, of organizations collecting and making use of big data directly or indirectly for profit and decision-making. These issues are explored through contemporary case studies.