Professor Zina Ward writes, at the Blog of the APA, about teaching Data Ethics

Zina Ward

It’s easy for a data scientist (or indeed, for any of us in our professional lives!) to get their work done by putting their head down, ignoring the social context of that work and the ethical concerns it might raise. In Data Ethics, I try to help students develop an ability to identify ethical issues as they arise and become comfortable discussing difficult moral and political questions. When concepts like privacy and transparency are mentioned in data science, they’re often treated just as buzzwords. So I also want to equip students with arguments about why exactly such values matter.