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Call for Papers: Legal and Ethical Issues in Predictive Data Analytics 

RESEARCH COLLOQUIUM: CALL FOR PAPERS LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN PREDICTIVE DATA ANALYTICS

June 19 & 20, 2014
Blacksburg, Va.
Abstract Submission Deadline: March 3, 2014

A research colloquium, “Legal and Ethical Issues in Predictive Data Analytics,” hosted by Professor Janine Hiller of Virginia Tech and co-organized by Professor Tonia Hap Murphy of the University of Notre Dame, is sponsored by the Center for Business Intelligence and Analytics in the Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech. Topics include privacy and data security and consumer protection: price discrimination, targeting.

Up to four invitations for research presentation slots will be extended based on this call for papers. In order to receive consideration, researchers are invited to submit an abstract by March 3, 2014.

TOPIC:

Various terms are used to describe the collection and use of data for decision-making. Big data and data mining are two common terms that indicate the breadth and depth of data sets and the subsequent use of that data to extract new meaning. Used here, data analytics references a mathematical process that can discover trends, connections, and relationships that may then feed into various models and processes. Furthermore, analytics implies that data is used to make decisions that affect individuals or businesses based on the result of algorithmic-derived predictions.

Legal scholarship related to the use of data analytics and its predictive application is sparse, yet there are important questions that call for discussion. For example, a recurrent legal issue in data management is the question of privacy rights and obligations for securing information. Particular statutes protect health, financial, and children’s information to a certain extent. Without a doubt, data analytics impacts privacy concerns more intensely and in new ways; the meaning of individual privacy is challenged in an environment where new personal insights are algorithmically “discovered” because of widely aggregated data and analytic techniques. Zarsky describes the different types of data analysis and predictive modeling in setting the background for a proposed transparency taxonomy for predictive analytics. More broadly, Balkan notes that, “data mining technologies allow the state and business enterprises to record perfectly innocent behavior that no one is particularly ashamed of and draw surprisingly powerful inferences about people's behavior, beliefs, and attitudes.”

As sophisticated data analysis and its predictive application becomes ubiquitous, what are the legal and ethical considerations for society, business and government? What laws protect individuals and corporations from data overreach and predictive applications? What laws should be modified in order to reap the benefits of data analytics and predictive modeling? What areas of commerce are most impacted? How are these questions being addressed by different legal structures? Beyond legal questions, what ethical questions and frameworks are important for the use of predictive analytics?

This colloquium seeks to promote research on the legal and ethical issues presented by the predictive use of analytics in society, emphasizing uses by business entities.

Issues of interest include, but are not limited to, the following categories that are relevant to the discussion of data analysis, predictive modeling, and decision-making processes:

Privacy and data security

Consumer protection: price discrimination, targeting

Employment decisions and analytics

Corporate governance: decision-making, risk management, and oversight

Health analytics and ethics

Insurance: benefits, prices, structures

Intellectual property: data and analytic ownership, trade secret protection

Legal system: due process, e-discovery, evidentiary issues

Antitrust: collusion and data

International legal comparisons

Ethical use of predictive data analytics in commerce

National security: inferences, actions, and automation derived from data

Submissions: To be considered, please submit an abstract of up to 750 words to Janine Hiller at jhiller@vt.edu, and copied to tmurphy1@nd.edu by March 3, 2014. Abstracts will be evaluated based upon the quality of the abstract and the topic’s fit with other presentations. Questions may be directed to Janine Hiller at jhiller@vt.edu or Tonia Hap Murphy at tmurphy1@nd.edu.

Those submitting abstracts will be informed of the outcome by March 17, 2014. If accepted, the author agrees to submit a discussion paper of 7,500 to 10,000 words by June 2, 2014. Formatting will be either APA or Bluebook. The paper need not be in final form; however, it should be complete enough to benefit from and elicit discussion at the colloquium. In the case of papers with multiple authors, only one author may attend and present at the colloquium.

The organizers are negotiating publication options for colloquium papers, with the goal of producing a scholarly book or special journal issue. While a final decision is pending, we are firmly optimistic about an ultimate publication. Authors agree to submit their final papers to be edited for inclusion in such a future publication. It is anticipated that final submissions and editing will occur in the fall of 2014.

From Consumer Law & Policy Blog
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