The Ethics of Big Data: seminar shows us there is still a lot to be done

At the Centre for BOLD Cities and Knowledge Lab Urban Big Data seminar on the ethics of big data, prominent speakers from our network explained how there is still a lot of work to do in the efforts of ethically using big, open and linked data in the urban environment.

The Ethics of Big Data

Prof. dr. Jeroen van den Hoven, professor of Ethics and Technology at Delft University of Technology, highlighted that the ethics of big data are too important to merely discuss - rather than only theorising, these values have to be implemented in design. 'If we do not design systems for our values,' he said, 'it is likely that commercial parties will design for their purposes instead.'

Dr. Jiska Engelbert, media and communication researcher at Erasmus University, focused on (re)imagining the role of the citizen in the smart city. Using, among many other examples, the SHARED method that the Centre for BOLD Cities employs, she showed how cities can improve the inclusion of their heterogeneous population when it comes to smart city developments and (big) data policymaking.

Closing speaker dr. Jason Pridmore (Erasmus University) addressed the topic of safety and security of urban data. With a number of thought-provoking statements that sparked the discussion, he asked the crowd ho we should maintain data security and how we should secure the privacy of citizens. 'How a problem is defined already presupposes a particular answer to that question,' Pridmore stated, thereby underlining that, indeed, there is still a lot of work to do when it comes to the ethics of big data in the (smart) city.

Citizens can benefit from smart data analytics by municipalities. Nonetheless: "Data minimization is a key principle" says Dr Jason Pridmore @erasmusuni at the seminar Ethics of Big Data by the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for BOLD Cities.

— Leiden-Delft-Erasmus (@LeidenDelftEras) February 26, 2018

The Centre for BOLD Cities organised this seminar in collaboration with the Knowledge Lab Urban Big Data