The Ethics of Big Data

Pistoia Alliance Webinar will see panel debate issues around ethics and big data

Wilmington, DE, 18th May 2015 – With the increased use of big data in research projects, the ethical implications are increasingly coming to the forefront. As the technology advances and new applications for big data are developed, there is a growing interest in ensuring that the effect on science and society is positive.

The Pistoia Alliance, a global, not-for-profit alliance of life science organizations that work together to lower barriers to innovation in R&D, will be hosting a webinar on Thursday 21st May at 11am EDT (8am PDT, 4pm BST, 5pm CEST) to discuss the issues around the ethics of big data. The webinar will cover areas such as:

  • Implications for informed consent, and how to ensure data usage is compliant with it
  • Growing risks of re-identification of de-identified patient data
  • Challenges of cloud based platforms for ensuring privacy across country jurisdictions
  • Permanence, transience, and the right to be forgotten in an increasingly interconnected world

The webinar will be chaired by David Fritsche of Sanofi, and the panelists include Jennifer E. Miller, Assistant Professor, NYU Langone Medical School, and Fellow, E.J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, Pete Mills of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, and Brent Mittelstadt of the Oxford Internet Institute.

Richard Holland, Executive Director Operations at the Pistoia Alliance commented: “All new technologies bring new challenges and those making use of big data are no exception. Due to the sensitive nature of much of the data involved in life sciences research settings, developing appropriate systems of ethical safeguards around use and management of big data will be crucial. Big data brings up a number of potential issues from areas such as informed consent, privacy and storage which must be kept in mind at all times as we learn how to use that data effectively.”

Further information and registration for the webinar is available at:

Posted in Pistoia Alliance News.

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