Caveat Emptor: The Risks of Using Big Data for Human Development

Siddique Latif*, Adnan Qayyum, Muhammad Usama, Junaid Qadir, Andrej Zwitter, Muhammad Shahzad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
298 Downloads (Pure)


"Big Data" has the potential to facilitate sustainable development in many sectors of life such as education, health, agriculture, and in combating humanitarian crises and violent conflicts. However, lurking beneath the immense promises of Big Data are some significant risks such as 1) the potential use of Big Data for unethical ends; 2) its ability to mislead through reliance on unrepresentative and biased data; and 3) the various privacy and security challenges associated with data (including the danger of an adversary tampering with the data to harm people). These risks can have severe consequences and a better understanding of these risks is the first step towards their mitigation of these risks. In this article, we highlight the potential dangers associated with using Big Data, particularly for human development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalIeee technology and society magazine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2019
Event24th Annual IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (IEEE ISTAS) - Technology, Ethics and Policy - Washington
Duration: 13-Nov-201814-Nov-2018



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