Published on September 18, 2015

The Big Data Dilemma | Evidence to the Science and Technology Committee

Citizens & science Open government

By Josephine Suherman-Bailey

Josephine is a Policy Analyst at Involve. She supports Involve's work on the UK Open Government Partnership civil society network and Sciencewise. She is especially interested in opening up decision-making to those who might otherwise struggle to be heard by policy-makers.

Downing Street / WhitehallInvolve’s submission of evidence to the Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry on big data has been published.

In our submission we make the case that it will be essential to involve citizens and other stakeholders in discussions on big data. The issues thrown up by greater collection and use of big data require decisions to be made which will have a significant impact on society. Involving citizens and stakeholders will be necessary to not only identify publicly acceptable courses of action, but also to engage citizens and stakeholders in collaboratively addressing the challenges.

We suggest that the Committee widens the range of its inquiry to include an exploration of why and how citizens and stakeholders from civil society should be actively involved in discussions about the collection and use of big data. Reasons include greater transparency and legitimacy of decisions, increasing trust and avoiding the public rejection of policy, helping policy makers to understand the ethical issues around the greater use of data, enabling policy makers to act with confidence on complex and controversial issues and helping policy makers to identify questions or issues.

Read our published submission here: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/science-and-technology-committee/big-data/written/20405.pdf

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