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Religions 2017, 8(5), 88; doi:10.3390/rel8050088

Big Data, Ethics and Religion: New Questions from a New Science

School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, Mound Place, Edinburgh EH1 2LX, UK
Academic Editor: Noreen Herzfeld
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 10 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and the New Technologies)
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Hopes, fears, and ethical concerns relating to technology are as old as technology itself. When considering the increase in the power of computers, and their ever-more widespread use over recent decades, concerns have been raised about the social impact of computers and about practical issues arising from their use: the manner in which data is harvested, the preservation of confidentiality where people’s personal information is concerned, the security of systems in which such data is stored, and so on. With the arrival of “big data” new ethical concerns surrounding computer-based technology arise—concerns connected not only with social issues, and with the generation of data and its security, but also with its interpretation by data scientists, and with the burgeoning trade in personal data. The first aim of this paper is to introduce some of these ethical issues, and the second is to suggest some possible ways in which they might be addressed. The latter includes some explorations of the ways in which insights from religious and theological perspectives might be valuable. It is urged that theology and data science might engage in mutually-beneficial dialogue. View Full-Text
Keywords: big data; computing; consent; ethics; hermeneutics; hippocratic oath; interpretation; privacy big data; computing; consent; ethics; hermeneutics; hippocratic oath; interpretation; privacy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fuller, M. Big Data, Ethics and Religion: New Questions from a New Science. Religions 2017, 8, 88.

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