by Angela Guess
Jeffrey Rayport recently reported on the need for a code of ethical practices to govern the uses of Big Data. Rayport writes, “In this era of Big Data, there is little that cannot be tracked in our online lives—or even in our offline lives. Consider one new Silicon Valley venture, called Color: it aims to make use of GPS devices in mobile phones, combined with built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers, to parse streams of photos that users take and thus pinpoint their locations. By watching as these users share photos and analyzing aspects of the pictures, as well as ambient sounds picked up by the microphone in each handset, Color aims to show not only where they are, but also whom they are with. While this kind of service might prove attractive to customers interested in tapping into mobile social networks, it also could creep out even ardent technophiles.”
Rayport continues, “It’s no wonder that there are calls for corporations to create positions such as chief privacy officer, chief safety officer, and chief data officer, or that American and European legislators have been considering several kinds of privacy measures. In one bipartisan effort, Senators John McCain and John Kerry have proposed the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011, which aims, in part, to restrict what online companies can do with customer data. Senator Jay Rockefeller has proposed his own piece of legislation, the Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011. The European Union’s Article 29 Working Group is addressing similar concerns.”
Rayport calls for four basic principles to be enforced amongst Big Data companies. Read what those principles are here.