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Data Ethics – The Profound Impacts of New Technology

Data ethics and security have been around a long time – as long as data. Constantly evolving. But, continued tech advancement has made a profound impact. So, data security and data ethics is more important than ever.

1. Magnified Relevance

Tech has enabled an exponential increase of data. We know this. The more data, the more relevant is security and ethics. Why? Because of the sheer scale. Same problems but bigger potential bang (Big Data Ethics, 2019). We might call it the big bang.

About 80-90% of new data is unstructured (Webopedia, 2019). So, it is harder to manage (Covata, 2015). Further, this is magnified because tech has enabled inferences drawn from unstructured social media data. Often, the data is then sold or shared. As well, all the parties have new and different objectives (Asadi, 2016). Therefore, new tech is highly sensitive to subtle ethical issues (Hand, 2018).

Certainly, new tech has increased the importance of ethics and security concerns. This topic is valid. Maybe, you’ve seen more mentions in the news about privacy, breaches, or laws that are out of date (Frederick; Frederick, 2019).

2. Transformed Responsibility

Secondly, tech has changed who is responsible. In the past, only stat and computer folks were focused on data things (Hand, 2018). Security and ethics concerns were limited to librarians, archivists, and IT. But now, data is also concerned with brokers, governments, corporations, data gatherers and data governors (Wikipedia, 2019). The involvement includes more and different people. Are they ready?

Also, it’s not easy to be ready. True enterprise preparedness applies to the broader org. Chiefly, people, processes and principles should be reviewed. A new formal business competency is needed (Groopman, 2018). Data security and ethics has become a community effort. It’s not just an IT issue anymore. We all have a stake in this now.

Technology has magnified the relevance [of data ethics] by enabling much more, less managed data that is being moved and exercised in unexpected ways. Further, technology has transformed the responsibility [of data ethics] by extending the sphere of influence to new and unprepared stakeholders.

Together, we can navigate this era of rapid change. This is digital transformation.

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