Where are the boundaries for "data for good" and what happens if we cross them?

Every day, whether we like it or not, we each generate new data about our lives, giving clues about our health, wealth and even our happiness. These kinds of insights can be used for good and for evil and whilst it's often easy to recognise extreme forms of evil, defining what it means to use "data for good" is much harder.

Recent advances in technology and analytics have enabled the organisations holding this data to produce insights about us we might not know ourselves, and even predict our future behaviour better than we can. For example: our phone providers know when we are most likely to call our mum; supermarkets can detect small changes in our shopping habits that indicate our state of health; and your personality traits can be predicted by analysing how you use twitter.

As a result, many of us that work with data or who are responsible for its usage, are wondering where the boundaries lie for "data for good" and what happens if we cross them?

Data for Good will be an important conversation about the ethics of data usage for Australian business and government. It will commence with a series of online discussions in May, and culminate with an interactive exploration hosted by Auxilio Venture Lab as part of Vivid Ideas 2015. We will demystify the practice of analytics, examine what is actually possible today and then explore what it really means to use data for good.

Results of this exploration will be published online alongside some useful tools designed to support managers and data practitioners with the implementation of a "Data for Good" policy within their own organisations.

Join the conversation online or at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

11am Thursday 27 May 2015


Jason Wilby

Jason Wilby

Co-founder at Huddle Insurance