3 Must-Read Books on Data Ethics for Aspiring Data Scientists
There's no doubt about it that Big Data is a powerful discovery tool, but is it a force for good or are there some nefarious people out there doing questionable things with your data?
Are we beginning to see the end of a time when we can call ourselves 'private' citizens, or is there something we can do to regain and retain our privacy?
Big Data is changing the world we live in and we've only just begun. A war will be waged over just what can ethically be done with your data, and the outcome is uncertain.
In the world of Big Data and Data Science there's a lot of discussion about what we can do with data but precious little about what we should or - more importantly - what we should not do with data.
The 3 books in this blog post will help you get a greater understanding of the implications of working with data and give us a small glimpse of what our future world may look like.
Disclosure: the three books in this post link you to the listed book at your local Amazon store. We may earn an affiliate commission for purchases you make when using the links to books on this page.
You can find further details in our TCs.
In this post - the 8th in a series of 8 in which we bring you 21 Inspirational Books for All Aspiring Data Scientists, we highlight 3 books to introduce you to the ethics of data:
- Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
- Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World
- Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It
They are all highly entertaining (if a little scary) and will give you an idea of what the world could look like in the future. Just try not to have nightmares...
by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier
It seems like “big data” is in the news every day, as we read the latest examples of how powerful algorithms are teasing out the hidden connections between seemingly unrelated things. Whether it is used by the NSA to fight terrorism or by online retailers to predict customers’ buying patterns, big data is a revolution occurring around us, in the process of forever changing economics, science, culture, and the very way we think.
But it also poses new threats, from the end of privacy as we know it to the prospect of being penalized for things we haven’t even done yet, based on big data’s ability to predict our future behavior. What we have already seen is just the tip of the iceberg.
Big Data is the first major book about this earthshaking subject, with two leading experts explaining what big data is, how it will change our lives, and what we can do to protect ourselves from its hazards.
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by Bruce Schneier
You are under surveillance right now.
Your cell phone provider tracks your location and knows who’s with you. Your online and in-store purchasing patterns are recorded, and reveal if you’re unemployed, sick, or pregnant. Your e-mails and texts expose your intimate and casual friends. Google knows what you’re thinking because it saves your private searches. Facebook can determine your sexual orientation without you ever mentioning it.
The powers that surveil us do more than simply store this information. Corporations use surveillance to manipulate not only the news articles and advertisements we each see, but also the prices we’re offered. Governments use surveillance to discriminate, censor, chill free speech, and put people in danger worldwide. And both sides share this information with each other or, even worse, lose it to cybercriminals in huge data breaches.
Much of this is voluntary: we cooperate with corporate surveillance because it promises us convenience, and we submit to government surveillance because it promises us protection. The result is a mass surveillance society of our own making. But have we given up more than we’ve gained? In Data and Goliath, security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy. He shows us exactly what we can do to reform our government surveillance programs and shake up surveillance-based business models, while also providing tips for you to protect your privacy every day. You’ll never look at your phone, your computer, your credit cards, or even your car in the same way again.
by Marc Goodman
One of the world’s leading authorities on global security, Marc Goodman takes readers deep into the digital underground to expose the alarming ways criminals, corporations, and even countries are using new and emerging technologies against you – and how this makes everyone more vulnerable than ever imagined.
Technological advances have benefited our world in immeasurable ways, but there is an ominous flip side: our technology can be turned against us. Hackers can activate baby monitors to spy on families, thieves are analyzing social media posts to plot home invasions, and stalkers are exploiting the GPS on smart phones to track their victims’ every move. We all know today’s criminals can steal identities, drain online bank accounts, and wipe out computer servers, but that’s just the beginning. To date, no computer has been created that could not be hacked – a sobering fact given our radical dependence on these machines for everything from our nation’s power grid to air traffic control to financial services.
Yet, as ubiquitous as technology seems today, just over the horizon is a tidal wave of scientific progress that will leave our heads spinning. If today’s Internet is the size of a golf ball, tomorrow’s will be the size of the sun. Welcome to the Internet of Things, a living, breathing, global information grid where every physical object will be online. But with greater connections come greater risks. Implantable medical devices such as pacemakers can be hacked to deliver a lethal jolt of electricity and a car’s brakes can be disabled at high speed from miles away. Meanwhile, 3-D printers can produce AK-47s, bioterrorists can download the recipe for Spanish flu, and cartels are using fleets of drones to ferry drugs across borders.
With explosive insights based upon a career in law enforcement and counterterrorism, Marc Goodman takes readers on a vivid journey through the darkest recesses of the Internet. Reading like science fiction, but based in science fact, Future Crimes explores how bad actors are primed to hijack the technologies of tomorrow, including robotics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. These fields hold the power to create a world of unprecedented abundance and prosperity. But the technological bedrock upon which we are building our common future is deeply unstable and, like a house of cards, can come crashing down at any moment.
Future Crimes provides a mind-blowing glimpse into the dark side of technological innovation and the unintended consequences of our connected world. Goodman offers a way out with clear steps we must take to survive the progress unfolding before us. Provocative, thrilling, and ultimately empowering, Future Crimes will serve as an urgent call to action that shows how we can take back control over our own devices and harness technology’s tremendous power for the betterment of humanity – before it’s too late.
All 8 posts in the series:
- 21 Inspirational Books for All Aspiring Data Scientists:
- 3 Great Data Science Books for Aspiring Data Scientists
- 3 Must-Read Statistics Books for Aspiring Data Scientists
- 3 Essential Python Books for Aspiring Data Scientists
- 3 Books on R That all Aspiring Data Scientists Should Read
- 3 Inspirational Machine Learning Books for Aspiring Data Scientists
- 3 Essential Visualisation Books for Aspiring Data Scientists
- 3 Must-Read Books on Data Ethics for Aspiring Data Scientists
If you're interested in learning more about the content in this blog post we've sought out the best blogs, books, video courses and other stuff from around the internet for you. Some may be free while others may not, and to help you decide we use the following ratings:
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Disclosure: some of these resources may be affiliate links, and we may earn an affiliate commission for purchases you make when using these links
You can find further details in our TCs
Truth, Lies & Statistics
Pirates, cats, Mexican lemons and North Carolina lawyers. Cheese consumption, margarine and drowning by falling out of fishing boats. This book has got it all.
A roller coaster of a book in 8 witty chapters, this might just be the most entertaining statistics book you’ll read this year.
Graphs Don't Lie
Sarah Palin, abortions, global warming and Usain Bolt. The CEO of Apple, 35 trillion gun deaths in 1995, Fox News and 193%. This book has got scandals galore!
With 9 witty chapters taking you on a roller coaster tour of graphical lies, pictorial deceits and pie charts of mayhem, this might just be the most entertaining book about graphs you’ll read this year.
Videos & Video Courses
6 hour Udemy Video Course to help you get started with the basic Matplotlib charts.
Perfect for beginners and will help get you started with scatter plots, histograms, bar charts and more
In this course you'll get into the basic essentials of chart plotting in Tableau right away. Pie charts, bar charts, box-and-whisker plots, histograms and more are what you'll learn in the early stages
Proficiency in D3 is one of those skills that is now a 'must have' for data scientists. Although there is quite a steep learning curve, you'll quickly realise that with d3.js everything is possible
CorrelViz - visualise all the correlations in your data in minutes
CorrelViz is completely automated and gives you the Story of Your Data in minutes, with one click - saving you months of manual analysis and shed-loads of cash!
Analyse all your data, discover all the correlations you seek - and some you never even dreamed of...
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