A couple of months ago, while attending a conference on social philosophy, a participant mentioned in passing that she needed to recruit panelists for an Author-Meets-Critics session for a book on the ethico-political ramifications of Big Data. The book was Firmin DeBrabander’s Life After Privacy: Reclaiming Democracy in a Surveillance Society (Cambridge, 2020); the session was to take place at the APA Central Division meeting this February.
As an (erstwhile?) philosopher who now works in Big Data, I thought it’d be interesting to give it a shot, so I volunteered. So for the next couple of posts, I’m going to subject you to my thoughts on Big Data (privacy, etc.), thoughts I’ve been piecing together for the eighteen months or so that I’ve spent in the industry. I thought I’d begin in this post with a neutral summary of DeBrabander’s book, move in later posts to some criticisms, and maybe offer some thoughts on what one learns while working in the industry that can’t be learned as a spectator.