Business Data Ethics: Emerging Trends in the Governance of Advanced Analytics and AI

113 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2021 Last revised: 28 Jun 2021

See all articles by Dennis D. Hirsch

Dennis D. Hirsch

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law; Capital University Law School

Tim Bartley

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Sociology

Aravind Chandrasekaran

The Ohio State University; Operations

Davon Norris

The Ohio State University

Srinivasan Parthasarathy

Computer Science and Engineering, Ohio State University

Piers Norris Turner

Philosophy, Ohio State University

Date Written: October 2, 2020

Abstract

Advanced analytics and artificial intelligence are powerful technologies that, along with their benefits, create new threats to privacy, equality, fairness and transparency. Existing law does not yet protect sufficiently against these threats. This has led some organizations to pursue what they call “data ethics” or “AI ethics” in an attempt to bring advanced analytics and AI more into line with societal values and so legitimate their growing use of these technologies.

To date, much of the scholarship on data ethics has sought either to define the ethical principles to which organization should aspire, or to map out the laws and regulations needed to push organizations towards these ethical goals. While these two lines of inquiry are important, the literature is missing a critical third dimension: empirical work on how organizations are actually governing the threats that their use of advanced analytics and AI can generate. Good regulatory design requires such knowledge. Yet, while there have been important studies of how organizations manage privacy “on the ground” (Bamberger and Mulligan 2015), there has been little such work on the governance of advanced analytics and AI.

This report begins to fill this gap. Focusing on private sector organizations, the authors interviewed corporate privacy managers deemed by their peers to be leaders in the governance of advanced analytics and AI, as well as the lawyers, consultants and thought leaders who advise them on this topic. They also surveyed a wider range of privacy mangers. The study sought to answer three, fundamental questions about business data ethics management: (1) How do leading companies conceptualize the threats that their use of advanced analytics and AI pose for individuals, groups and the broader society? (2) If it is true that the law does not yet require companies to reduce these risks, then why are they pursuing data ethics? and (3) How are companies pursuing data ethics? What substantive benchmarks, management processes and technological solutions do they use towards this end?

The authors previously shared on SSRN their preliminary findings. This final report provides a much fuller picture. The report should provide legislators and policymakers with an empirical foundation for their efforts to regulate advanced analytics and AI, at the same time as it gives interested organizations ideas on how to improve their data ethics management.

Keywords: business ethics, data ethics, AI ethics, governance of AI, algorithm, data analytics, big data, artificial intelligence, data privacy, algorithmic bias, privacy management, corporate social responsibility, CSR

JEL Classification: L50, L53, L86, M14, M15, M38, O31, O35, O38

Suggested Citation

Hirsch, Dennis and Bartley, Tim and Chandrasekaran, Aravind and Norris, Davon and Parthasarathy, Srinivasan and Turner, Piers, Business Data Ethics: Emerging Trends in the Governance of Advanced Analytics and AI (October 2, 2020). Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 628, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3828239 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3828239

Dennis Hirsch (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Capital University Law School ( email )

303 East Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215

Tim Bartley

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Sociology ( email )

1 Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

Aravind Chandrasekaran

The Ohio State University ( email )

2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States

Operations ( email )

2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States

Davon Norris

The Ohio State University ( email )

Columbus, OH

Srinivasan Parthasarathy

Computer Science and Engineering, Ohio State University ( email )

122 Hitchcock Hall
2070 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1275
United States
614 292 2568 (Phone)
614 292 2911 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://web.cse.ohio-state.edu/~parthasarathy.2/

Piers Turner

Philosophy, Ohio State University ( email )

Blankenship Hall-2010
901 Woody Hayes Drive
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/piersnorristurner/

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