The book Data Ethics – The New Competitive Advantage published in 2016 by Gry Hasselbalch and Pernille Tranberg was one of the early books to describe not only the privacy implications of the commercial exploitation of big data, but the broader social and ethical implications. It pictured the emerging movement of the mid 2010s to take back control of our data from powerful big tech Silicon Valley actors.
It was the first book to use the term “data ethics” and describe it in detail. Its crucial contribution was its constructive approach that sought out the alternative engineering and company practices and initiatives that were countering the established big tech surveillance and “tracking by default” practices.
The concept “data ethics as a competitive advantage” the authors created in support of this alternative technology and business movement and has inspired big and small companies as well as governments and policymakers to consider and assess the ethical implications of their data practices and in many cases change and redirect data practices.
The two authors Gry Hasselbalch and Pernille Tranberg are co-founders of the independent Thinkdotank DataEthics.eu (together with co-founder Birgitte Kofod Olsen) that was created while writing the book. Pernille and Gry first met in 2013 when researching the challenges to youth’s privacy on social media and creating crypto parties for children and their teachers. They decided to write the book to push for the development of an alternative digital data infrastructure and a new “ethically aware” discourse on big data innovation.
In the book you can among others read about:
- What is “data ethics”?
- Data ethics in practice
- The rise of the privacy aware consumer
- The global fight for standardisation
- The data driven ‘tracking by default’ business model
- Why privacy is important
- The alternative ‘tech revolutionaries’
- Privacy as innovation
- The data ethical challenges of AI, drones and robots.
- Data monopolies
- The personal data trust movement
- Data ethics as “the new green”.
It is supported by Internet Society (isoc.org).