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Business Data Ethics

Emerging Models for Governing AI and Advanced Analytics

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2024

You have full access to this open access Book


  • Provides models for how organizations can achieve responsible and ethical AI
  • Offers a comprehensive account of how leading companies govern their use of AI
  • Is one of the first works to focus specifically on AI ethics management rather than AI ethics principles or tools
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Law (BRIEFSLAW)

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About this book

This open access book explains how leading business organizations attempt to achieve the responsible and ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced information technologies. These technologies can produce tremendous insights and benefits. But they can also invade privacy, perpetuate bias, and otherwise injure people and society. To use these technologies successfully, organizations need to implement them responsibly and ethically.  The question is: how to do this? Data ethics management, and this book, provide some answers.

The authors interviewed and surveyed data ethics managers at leading companies. They asked why these experts see data ethics as important and how they seek to achieve it. This book conveys the results of that research on a concise, accessible way.

Much of the existing writing on data and AI ethics focuses either on macro-level ethical principles, or on micro-level product design and tooling. The interviews showed that companies need a third component: data ethics management. This third element consists of the management structures, processes, training and substantive benchmarks that companies use to operationalize their high-level ethical principles and to guide and hold accountable their developers. Data ethics management is the connective tissue makes ethical principles real. It is the focus of this book.

This book should be of use to organizations that wish to improve their own data ethics management efforts, legislators and policymakers who hope to build on existing management practices, scholars who study beyond compliance business behavior, and members of the public who want to understand better the threats that AI poses and how to reduce them.

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Table of contents (11 chapters)


“Data ethics is an evidence-based approach to understanding the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies … . Business data ethics is a cautionary tale. The concise writing and scholarship bring clarity and confidence. The critical systems thinking is a blueprint for change. Read it now before it is too late.” (Ernest Hughes, Computing Reviews, February 2, 2024)

Authors and Affiliations

  • College of Law and Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA

    Dennis Hirsch

  • Earth Commons Institute and Department of Sociology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., USA

    Timothy Bartley

  • Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA

    Aravind Chandrasekaran

  • Organizational Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

    Davon Norris

  • Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA

    Srinivasan Parthasarathy

  • Department of Philosophy and Center for Ethics and Human Values, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA

    Piers Norris Turner

About the authors

Dennis Hirsch is Professor of Law and of Computer Science at The Ohio State University where he also serves as Director of the Program on Data and Governance and as a core faculty member of the Translational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI). His research and teaching, and the program that he directs, focus on the law, policy, ethics, and management of advanced analytics and AI. The author of numerous articles and an award-winning book, Professor Hirsch is the co-editor of the SSRN eJournal on Artificial Intelligence – Law, Policy, and Ethics, the founding Chair of TDAI’s Responsible Data Science Community of Practice, the founder of the Ohio Data Ethics Working Group, and a member of the Advisory Board for the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ (IAPP) AI Governance Center. In 2010, he served as a Fulbright Senior Professor at the University of Amsterdam where he studied Dutch privacy regulation. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Tim Bartleyis a Professor in the Earth Commons Institute and Department of Sociology at Georgetown University. He previously held positions at Washington University in St. Louis, Stockholm University, Ohio State University, and Indiana University. He is an organizational, political, and economic sociologist, whose research focuses largely on private forms of regulation and questions of fairness and sustainability in global industries. His previous work includes the book Rules without Rights: Land, Labor, and Private Authority in the Global Economy (Oxford University Press, 2018) and articles such as “Global Markets, Corporate Assurances, and the Legitimacy of State Intervention” (American Sociological Review, 2022), “Transnational Corporations and Global Governance” (Annual Review of Sociology, 2018), “Shaming the Corporation” (American Sociological Review, 2014), and “The Digital Surveillance Society” (Contemporary Sociology, 2019). He received his PhD from the University of Arizona and hasbeen lucky to spend time as a visiting scholar at the University of Konstanz, University of St. Gallen, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, MIT, Princeton, and Sun Yat-sen University.

Aravind Chandrasekaran (AC) is the Fisher Distinguished Professor in Operations and Business Analytics at the Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University. He received his PhD in Operations and Management Sciences from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Chandrasekaran’s research investigates innovation, learning and knowledge creation issues in a variety of industries including high-tech R&D, manufacturing and health-care. His research has been published in all top OM journals. Dr. Chandrasekaran currently serves as the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Executive Education at the Fisher College of Business. He oversees all the graduate programs including Full-time MBA, Working Professional MBA, Specialized Master’s as well as executive master’s programs including EMBA, the Master of Business in Operational Excellence (MBOE) and non-degree executive education. He has developed several custom teaching and research programs for organizations such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Ford Motor Company and Zimmer. He has won several teaching awards including the 2016 & 2012 Best Outstanding Core Professor Award (WPMBA), as well as the 2013 Pace Setter Award for Teaching Excellence.

Davon Norris, Assistant Professor of Organizational Studies at the University of Michigan, is an economic sociologist who tries to understand how our tools for determining what is valuable, worthwhile, or good are implicated in patterns of inequality with an acute concern for racial inequality. Generally, this empirically manifests in work that studies credit, debt, and finance. However, he more specifically investigates the functioning and consequences of a range of scores or ratings, from state and municipal government credit ratings to algorithmic consumer credit scores. By centering questions of valuation, his research speaks across an array of disciplines and brings into relief normative questions about the nature and possibility of ameliorating (racial) inequality and nurturing economic justice in the contemporary United States. His research has been published in outlets such as Social Forces, Socio-Economic Review, Social Problems, and Sociological Forum, and has received awards from the Future of Privacy Forum and American Sociological Association. He is a three-time Buckeye receiving his BS in Accounting (2014), his MA in Sociology (2018), and his PhD (2022) in Sociology all from THE Ohio State University.

Srinivasan Parthasarathy received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Rochester, New York, USA. He is a Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the Ohio State University (OSU). He directs the data mining research laboratory at OSU and co-directs the university-wide undergraduateprogram in Data analytics as well as the Community of Practice in Responsible Data Science. His research interests are broadly in the areas of Data Mining Machine Learning, Databases, and Bioinformatics. He is a recipient of an Ameritech Faculty fellowship in 2001, an NSF CAREER award in 2003, a DOE Early Career Award in 2004, and multiple grants or fellowships from IBM, Google and Microsoft. His papers have received fifteen best paper awards or similar honors (best of conference selection) and many of his works have transitioned to practice, ranging from commercial implementations to widespread use in clinical practice for disease diagnosis. He is a frequent distinguished and keynote speaker at various conferences and recently completed his final term as chair (elected) of the steering committee for the SIAM data mining conference series. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for contributions to high performance data mining and network science, a fellow of the Asia-Pacific AI Association for contributions to scalable data mining and graph representation learning and a Distinguished Fellow at the Robert Bosch Center of Data Science and AI for his work in data science and AI.

Piers Norris Turner is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values at Ohio State University. His research on utilitarianism and liberal political thought, especially in the moral and political philosophy of John Stuart Mill, has appeared in leading journals including Ethics, Utilitas, and the Journal of the History of Philosophy. He has co-edited Public Reason in Political Philosophy: Classic Sources and Contemporary Commentaries (Routledge) and a collection of unpublished writings by Karl Popper called After The Open Society (Routledge). Currently he is working on a manuscript entitled Mill’s Ethics (CUP).


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