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The Ethics of Biomedical Big Data

By Brent Daniel Mittelstadt (Editor) and Luciano Floridi (Editor)
Cover of The Ethics of Biomedical Big Data

This book presents cutting edge research on the new ethical challenges posed by biomedical Big Data technologies and practices. ‘Biomedical Big Data’ refers to the analysis of aggregated, very large datasets to improve medical knowledge and clinical care.

The book describes the ethical problems posed by aggregation of biomedical datasets and re-use/re-purposing of data, in areas such as privacy, consent, professionalism, power relationships, and ethical governance of Big Data platforms. Approaches and methods are discussed that can be used to address these problems to achieve the appropriate balance between the social goods of biomedical Big Data research and the safety and privacy of individuals.

Seventeen original contributions analyse the ethical, social and related policy implications of the analysis and curation of biomedical Big Data, written by leading experts in the areas of biomedical research, medical and technology ethics, privacy, governance and data protection. The book advances our understanding of the ethical conundrums posed by biomedical Big Data, and shows how practitioners and policy-makers can address these issues going forward.

About the Authors

Brent Mittelstadt is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.  Since 2014 he has held a Junior Research Fellowship with St. Cross College.  His current work examines the ethics of learning algorithms as used in personal data analytics. Prior to this he worked on the ‘Ethics of Biomedical Big Data’ project wirt Prof. Luciani Floridi to map the ethical landscape surrounding mining and sharing of biomedical and health-related ‘Big Data’ across research and commercial institutions. He has also conducted ethical foresight of emerging medical information and communication technologies, including personal health monitoring devices and ‘smart’ environments designed to support dementia care and ‘ageing at home’.  His research falls broadly within the philosophy and ethics of information, computer ethics and medical ethics.

Luciano Floridi is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, where he is the Director of Research and Senior Research Fellow of the Oxford Internet Institute, Governing Body Fellow of St Cross College, Distinguished Research Fellow of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Faculty of Philosophy, and Research Associate and Fellow in Information Policy of the Department of Computer Science.


Publication date:
July 2016