Towards Ethical Big Data Analytics Services

16 Mar 2020
man walking through high-tech department store
Photo by Xianjuan HU on Unsplash

JOURNAL ARTICLE | Sadaf Afrashteh, University of Melbourne, Dr Ida Someh, University of Queensland and Michael Davern, University of Melbourne 


Big data analytics uses algorithms for decision-making and targeting of customers. These algorithms process large-scale data sets and create efficiencies in the decision-making process for organizations but are often incomprehensible to customers and inherently opaque in nature. Recent European Union regulations require that organizations communicate meaningful information to customers on the use of algorithms and the reasons behind decisions made about them. In this paper, we explore the use of explanations in big data analytics services. We rely on discourse ethics to argue that explanations can facilitate a balanced communication between organizations and customers, leading to transparency and trust for customers as well as customer engagement and reduced reputation risks for organizations. We conclude the paper by proposing future empirical research directions.

Read the article at the Australasian Journal of Information Systems


Ida Someh

Dr Ida Someh

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