Research Topic

Big Data Ethics

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About this Research Topic

Big Data used to be solely within the realm of expensive natural sciences experiments, including high-energy physics and more recently, biology and computer science. Notably, when data that had some connection to human participants was used, there were research ethics boards (REBs) (often called institutional review boards (IRBs) in the US) and standard best practices that prevented the misuse and mishandling of sensitive and private information. However, Big Data has as at this point infiltrated most areas of science, social sciences, and commercial sectors; often without the safety net of best practices and REBs.

The goal of this Research Topic is to survey various emerging Big Data fields and assess how to best set best practices in light of the growing use of Big Data, the potential for misuse and the likelihood of mishandling potentially personal and private data.


Keywords: big data, ethics, ELSI, IRB, RRI, Responsible research and innovation, bioethics, big data ethics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Big Data used to be solely within the realm of expensive natural sciences experiments, including high-energy physics and more recently, biology and computer science. Notably, when data that had some connection to human participants was used, there were research ethics boards (REBs) (often called institutional review boards (IRBs) in the US) and standard best practices that prevented the misuse and mishandling of sensitive and private information. However, Big Data has as at this point infiltrated most areas of science, social sciences, and commercial sectors; often without the safety net of best practices and REBs.

The goal of this Research Topic is to survey various emerging Big Data fields and assess how to best set best practices in light of the growing use of Big Data, the potential for misuse and the likelihood of mishandling potentially personal and private data.


Keywords: big data, ethics, ELSI, IRB, RRI, Responsible research and innovation, bioethics, big data ethics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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