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Security and Privacy Matter for Genealogy as Big Data

by Bradley Jansen November 13th, 2013 8:12 am

Hat tip to Joshua Taylor on his Facebook page for pointing out this article on the big data question.  The article concludes:

Finally, should we worry about our security and privacy. There are big issues here concerning the ethics of big data gathering and mining. These are issues not just about the ownership and control of data, the gathering of swathes of information about its citizens by governments, and the right to be forgotten and have information thrown away, but also the morality of companies and policy makers taking decisions that will affect millions on the basis of generalization made about those on the web and with smart phones who generate all the data. We need humanities scholars like Professor Peter Ludlow at Northwestern University, with advanced knowledge of the technologies, to keep a way eye on dark data. There’s a lot of work here to be done and we’re just beginning. In the Humanities we’ll need to know about these developments and we need to be ready to respond.

The sooner teh genealogy community starts to think of genealogy as a "big data" question and considering those implications the way Google, Facebook, credit reporting agencies, etc., do, the better.

One Response to “Security and Privacy Matter for Genealogy as Big Data”

  1. avatar Kenneth H. Ryesky says:

    Nor can we blindly trust the Humanities scholars or any other group in academe. Colleges and universities are now facing some serious ethical challenges. Things like commercialized advertising on their webpages (and data-gathering in the process), a more fluid faculty on account of abuses of Adjunct faculty members, manipulation of data and statistics to achieve high ratings and/or government funding, and sweetheart deals with various vendors, and, for that matter, textbook publishers.

    What are the chances that the Humanities scholars can actually emerge unscathed from such an environment?

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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