There is no evidence that big data results in discrimination against particular groups, states Technology Policy Institute President Thomas Lenard in comments filed with the Federal Trade Commission. The use of big data instead actually benefits lower-income consumers and helps companies make more accurate decisions. The comments are in response to a call for input on issues related to the upcoming workshop, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?”
The Information Technology revolution has produced a data revolution-now commonly referred to as “big data”-in which massive amounts of data can be collected, stored and analyzed at relatively low cost. While the benefits of big data are numerous, from tracking health risks to helping consumers find the lowest prices on goods and services, the emergence of big data has also raised privacy concerns on the part of advocates and government officials. To alleviate these concerns, some are calling for remedies to either restrict or make more transparent how data are collected and used. Speakers at the event will discuss the big data revolution, proposed remedies for privacy concerns and their potential effects, including the findings in the recent paper, “The Big Data Revolution: Privacy Considerations,” authored by TPI’s Thomas Lenard and Paul Rubin.