Data Ethics Workshop at Purdue University

You are invited to join the university-wide workshop on “Ethical Reasoning in Big Data” on MARCH 28, between 9 am – 12 PM in BRNG B247 (B is for Basement).

If you want to learn more about the ethical treatment of big data, especially if it involves recombining and repurposing of data collected for other purposes than your intended research, this is the place to start. The workshop will introduce the participants to the Ethical Reasoning Matrix and to a reasoned and value-based decision-making process. At the end of the workshop, you will be better prepared to handle data (big and small) in an ethical manner.

The workshop will be directed by two co-authors of the chapter “A Theoretical Framework for Ethical Reflection in Big Data Research” Michael Steinmann, Sorin Adam Matei, and Jeff Collmann published in the volume “Ethical Reasoning in Big Data” (eds. Jeff Collmann and Sorin Adam Matei).

The workshop will focus on three case studies, presented by three Purdue researchers who handle big or social media data (See below for details).

The workshop will include a presentation of an ideal-typical ethical reasoning and decision making matrix. After presenting the case studies, the participants will be broken down into small groups that will discuss the applicability of the matrix to a given case study. In the process, the participants will discover new questions and answers to ethical reasoning in a data manipulation context.

The workshop will be followed by a keynote address by Professor Elisa Bertino, on Data Security and Privacy.

If you have questions, please let me know.

Sorin Adam Matei

Ethical Reasoning in Big Data – Case Studies

CAM2: Massive Public Webcam Feed Harvesting and Interpretation

Dr. Yung-Hsiang Lu

Dr. Lu has designed a workflow for capturing and interpreting in real time video feeds from thousands of publicly available web cameras. His main goal is to facilitate automatic interpretation of video feeds, which can support a variety of activities, from environmental management, to safety and emergency situations. However, the flow of data may include, even if inadvertently, behaviors or events that may raise ethical concerns. How should the researchers handle such issues, especially when privacy or security are in conflict?

Collecting data about religious practices in China

Fenggang Yang and Jonathan Pettit

Although more that 2 thirds of Chinese citizens declare themselves as non-religious, religious practices are spreading at a very fast rate in China. Some of them are encouraged, some tolerated, and some frowned upon according to their potential impact on the social and political stability of the country. Collecting data about religious practices and establishments, including from social media, raises a number of ethical issues, including that of revealing clusters of intense proselytizing or revealing the presence of churches and religious groups that were not known to the government. The researchers will discuss some of the challenges and conundrums raised by their attempt to create a comprehensive database and online GIS visualization/mapping of religious practice in China.

The ethical challenges of crowdsourcing

Alex Quinn


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