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Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? (Workshop)

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Citation Edit

Federal Trade Commission, Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? (Sept. 15, 2014) (full-text).

Overview Edit


The FTC hosted this public workshop to further explore the use of "big data" and its impact on American consumers, including low income and underserved consumers.

The workshop consisted of four panels addressing the following topics: (1) current uses of big data; (2) potential uses of big data; (3) the application of equal opportunity and consumer protection laws to big data; and (4) best practices to enhance consumer protection in the use of big data.

The workshop addressed the following issues:

  • How are organizations using big data to categorize consumers?
  • What benefits do consumers gain from these practices? Do these practices raise consumer protection concerns?
  • What benefits do organizations gain from these practices? What are the social and economic impacts, both positive and negative, from the use of big data to categorize consumers?
  • How do existing laws apply to such practices? Are there gaps in the legal framework?
  • Are companies appropriately assessing the impact of big data practices on low income and underserved populations? Should additional measures be considered?

The FTC also received sixty-five public comments on these issues from private citizens, industry representatives, trade groups, consumer and privacy advocates, think tanks, and academics.

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