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April 2014, Volume 2, Number 2

Access vs. privacy: Information ethics issues confront data pros

Big data became something of a household term last year, but it did so in a swirl of controversy. Data snooping by the National Security Agency and data breaches at Target stores were just two of the prominent news events that took some of the wind out of big data's burgeoning sails. That wasn't necessarily bad, though, as the storm of hype around big data technologies was threatening to burst those sails at the seams. Data processing has a long history at this point, but the recent controversies suggest that it may be entering a new era -- one in which information ethics will become a top-of-mind topic. While most of our coverage here is about the nuts and bolts of data management, we're also hearing from people on the IT and application front lines who are thinking about the ethics of data, perhaps more deeply than in years gone by. Big data applications have something to do with that; so do the open data initiatives being launched by many government entities. But like almost any political, philosophical or ethical issue, the ...

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