Ethics in data science en use of big data

In 2018, Netspar conducted a study in collaboration with its partners into the influence of Datascience on pension providers. An important part of data use has been kept out of the scope of the research and these are the ethical limits and preconditions that (should) apply. However, it has been argued that ethics provides an important limitation to the development of data-driven applications. We see in the science and pension sectors that there is a lot of talk about ethics, but also that there are many assumptions about the vision of implementers on the one hand and participants / consumers on the other.

In this research, several sub questions about data science and ethics will be addressed:

  1. What is ethics and what are known ethical dilemmas within data science?
  2. Where do the legal boundaries lie, and is that within or beyond ethical boundaries?
  3. Where are the ethical limits for the sector? When is data use justified (or should it even be encouraged) and when not?
  4. Where are the ethical limits for natural persons, when is data use justified or even encouraged and when not?

5. Is there a tipping point for people for when data can and cannot be used? Is the tipping point the same for everyone or do we see personal differences in this (person-related, culture-related, purpose-related,… ..)?

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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