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Big Data And Ethics: Towards A More Informed Use Of Personal Data

Is it possible to talk about big data ethics? Some tools try to rebalance the relationship between those who produce and those who use personal data. What is big data? This term is intended to describe an extensive data collection that requires methods and technologies suitable for extracting and analyzing information. Each year, a single user of the Network produces 3 G.B. of personal data. This information can undoubtedly create an enormous advancement in society and, above all, in knowledge, but there is a need for regulation, for ethics. 

The Ethics Of Big Data

By big data ethics, we mean the set of high-level principles to be recognized as systems capable of governing data flows in our information society and which should constitute a behavioral frame of reference in applying such systems.

A New Concept Of Privacy

First, security should be perceived as an essential variable among the data rules. As per numerous correspondence specialists, she is dead or kicking the bucket; however, she isn’t: protection develops alongside correspondence and society. With the development of instruments for gathering, examining, utilizing, and changing over enormous information along with new reconnaissance frameworks, security implies the capacity to deal with the progression of classified data that turns out to be investigated by outsiders. Private data can stay private even after being shared: it happens increasingly more regularly to impart secret data to the applications on your cell phones like banking, contacts, and G.P.S. 

In any case, sharing this information doesn’t infer the utilization and move of data by the chiefs to outsiders. Every client should know the fundamental guidelines for gathering data concerning him: the individual should comprehend that this information is shared, put away, and handled. The issue emerges when the information passes to outsiders unconsciously or without the permission of the individual who created it; it is important to give everybody a straightforward perspective on the different advances concerning the handling of individual data.


Big data allows organizations to influence, advise, and in some cases, make decisions for individuals. These systems need to be regulated and evaluated to establish their ethics.

What Are TOS? 

When we talk about the so-called ToS (Terms of Services), we refer to the set of various national and international laws that, theoretically, protect our privacy and all fundamental rights, such as those relating to freedom of expression. With the continuous development of the IoT and the increasingly widespread diffusion of new services connected to the Network, these terms of service will be present everywhere. 

Considering that only a very small percentage of users read them in full, the rest unconsciously gives companies almost total control over their data. A simple post on Facebook, for example, can be used by third parties in multiple ways: for risk analysis, marketing, safety, psychological and behavioral profiling. It is easy to see the disadvantages of users for algorithms: it is enough to exchange a few words with a contact on Messenger to see related ads appear.

With the many algorithms and procedures that analyze and process our data, often unknown and inaccessible to users, companies can have real, exclusive use of information; the data can cross different databases, countries, and different legal systems very quickly, and so we users immediately lose the possibility of understanding how they are used. This is why we have been talking for years about the negotiability of the algorithm.

Ubiquitous Commons

The system as it now generates an unbalanced relationship between those who produce the data and those who extract value, which is why the primary objective of Ubiquitous Commons is to rebalance this relationship by creating, thanks to a series of legal and technological tools, new guarantees through which users and communities can decide how to use their data. Technically it is a P2P (peer-to-peer) protocol in which the user correlates a series of meta-data that specifies the use that third parties can make of that information. 

To use this protocol, the fundamental requirement is access to the P2P Network. From that moment on, the community will guarantee users their rights. The prototype of the Network was designed specifically for social media and consists of a browser plug-in that captures all user-generated content on major Internet services and encrypts it. Everything is rooted in the famous blockchain, the P2P technology used by bitcoins: the Network, in addition to making the plug-in work, also provides the tools capable of decrypting the contents and the license. 

Anyone who wants to access certain information and make the content readable must log in to the Network; if the protocol verifies the regularity of the request by the user and its inclusion in the Network, then it will make the content readable. The future goal is to include other systems such as the ecosystem of wearable devices and the internet of things in the Ubiquitous Commons protocol.

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