Big Data: A Report on Algorithmic Systems, Opportunity, and Civil Rights   [open pdf - 857KB]

"Big data and associated technologies have enormous potential for positive impact in the United States, from augmenting the sophistication of online interactions to enhancing understanding of climate change to making advances in healthcare. These efforts, as well as the technological trends of always-on networked devices, ubiquitous data collection, cheap storage, sensors, and computing power, will spur broader use of big data. Our challenge is to support growth in the beneficial use of big data while ensuring that it does not create unintended discriminatory consequences. […] This report examines several case studies from the spheres of credit and lending, hiring and employment, higher education, and criminal justice to provide snapshots of opportunities and dangers, as well as ways that government policies can work to harness the power of big data and avoid discriminatory outcomes. These are issues that strike at the heart of American values, which we must work to advance in the face of emerging, innovative technologies."

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