Mobile Commerce

FTC’s Guide On ‘The Era Of Big Data’

The Federal Trade Commission earlier this week released a report focused on Big Data.

The report, titled “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? Understanding The Issues,” offered what Forbes said was a glimpse into the agency’s views on data and its management, especially as pertains to conforming to rules and regulations tied to security. And there is a not-so-subtle hint that erred ways can have outsized consequences in the form of FTC inquiries and actions.

Forbes noted that the report is broad in its intentions to define and address Big Data, with a sense of educating players about the risks of using the data, especially regarding consumer information. The use of such data can have benefits, such as helping low-income and other relatively disadvantaged consumers; however, there can also be a flip side, wherein data is used to profile and can actually have negative impacts. All users should be especially cognizant of what data is being collected and how it is being used but should also be ever-mindful of regulations, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and laws that foster equal opportunity, such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act.

[bctt tweet=”All users should be especially cognizant of what data is being collected and how it is being used.”]

The FTC report also posits a number of questions tied to data collection that include how representative a data set may be, whether models account for biases and whether predictions have proven to be accurate using the data sets. Always the question should be asked as to whether there are ethical concerns present.

Elsewhere in the report issued this week, the FTC said that it will look to see if there are violations of laws, including the aforementioned ones, and enforcement actions in those cases should be expected.


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