FTC Releases Report on Proper Use of Big Data

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“Big Data” is a buzz word that is tossed around a lot today and is typically used to talk about the collection of large amounts of data, typically from multiple sources.  That data is then used to make predictions, connections and assumptions that can be used to benefit your business.  The data that is collected is typically analyzed using complex algorithms that will produce usable information for marketing and other business efforts.

While big data can certainly be useful, the FTC has some concerns.  They have recently released a report that discusses how big data can and should be used.  Their main concern seems to be that some companies end up using this data in discriminatory ways that may not be legal.

Their report, titled, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” was made as a recap and review of a public meeting they held back in 2014 to discuss and learn about potential issues related to big data.

In the report they discuss legal compliance issues including how big data can impact the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Equal Opportunity Laws and the Federal Trade Commission Act.  It also looks at a variety of policy considerations that companies should look into when analyzing how they use big data.  This could include things like determining whether or not there are missing sets of information that could cause them to misuse the data, reviewing the data, including humans in the process of analyzing the data and much more.

This report was released for people in all types of businesses, but those who engage in digital marketing of any type are some of the biggest consumers of big data.  With that in mind, it makes sense to take a look at the report and see what types of things the FTC is going to be watching out for in the future.

You can view the entire report from the FTC HERE.

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