Case Study: Social Credit Scores

Course video 44 of 48

In Module 8, we consider societal consequences of Data Science that we should be concerned about even if there are no issues with fairness, validity, anonymity, privacy, ownership or human subjects research. These “systemic” concerns are often the hardest to address, yet just as important as other issues discussed before. For example, we consider ossification, or the tendency of algorithmic methods to learn and codify the current state of the world and thereby make it harder to change. Information asymmetry has long been exploited for the advantage of some, to the disadvantage of others. Information technology makes spread of information easier, and hence generally decreases asymmetry. However, Big Data sets and sophisticated analyses increase asymmetry in favor of those with ability to acquire/access.

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