Societal Implications of Big Data


Modern societies have developed a variety of technologies and techniques to identify, measure and influence people and objects. Smart devices such as smartphones and wearables assist and track their users in every aspect of life. Large amounts of data are collected, evaluated and interconnected to analyse the behaviour of individuals, social groups and collectives. By discussing recent practices of self-tracking as well of real-time control of complex systems, we will show that real-time analysis and feedback loops increasingly foster a society of (self-)control. Data scientists and social scientists should work together to develop the concepts of regulation, which are needed to cope with the challenges and risks of big data.

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Correspondence to Johannes Weyer.

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Special Issue “Big Data”, edited by Ullrich Meyer and Kristian Kersting.

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Kappler, K., Schrape, JF., Ulbricht, L. et al. Societal Implications of Big Data. Künstl Intell 32, 55–60 (2018).

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  • Smart Devices
  • Privacy Impact Assessment
  • Independent Data Protection Authorities
  • Specific Data-generating Process
  • Corporate Self-regulation