Doug Specht, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications, has written an article for The European Financial Review about new approaches to ethical issues in data use.
The article discusses the constant creation of data in today’s technological age. Specht said: “We are entering the age of Peak Data. More data is being generated by more technologies than ever before. And more data is being used to drive the social conditions of our lives, in turn creating more data through feedback loops.”
Specht says that by trying to make people’s lives better through garnering more data, tech giants like Google are encountering problems. He said: “News outlets relish in stories of racist chat bots such as Microsoft’s Tay. We are rightly up in arms about stories of ‘‘Racist soap dispensers” that don’t work for people of colour emerge, or over incidents such as when ‘Flickr's autotag system mislabelled concentration camps as ‘‘jungle gyms”. The answer to these issues is often presented as a need to collect more data, but this is an over-simplification and even a dangerous path to travel.”