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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Metaphors and Models for Data Mining Ethics

Metaphors and Models for Data Mining Ethics
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Author(s): Peter Danielson (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 15
Source title: Database Technologies: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): John Erickson (University of Nebraska, Omaha, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-058-5.ch109


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Our regulatory institutions, broadly taken, include our moral norms and models and have not fully adapted to significant changes in data mining technology. For example, we suggest that the metaphors — Big Brother and “data mining” itself — commonly used to describe and assess this new technology are deficient, overemphasizing social discipline by the state and the passivity of the so-called data subject. We move from metaphors to a set of models more adequate for building an ethics of data mining, using a framework of informal game theory. We sketch three models of interaction: pure conflict, pure coordination, and a mixed motive cooperation game, with special application to security, health, and commerce, respectively. We recommend these three models as heuristics within a simple account of an ethics of data mining regulated by informed consent.

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