Big Data: Blessing or Curse? Part 2

Source: Vishal Krishna/yourstory.com (27 June 2016)

Big Data are mostly discussed for two reasons. The first reason is whether those data that include personal information are safe or not. The second one is about how the data that are provided are used.

To begin with, I need to clarify what I am talking about when I use the term Big Data. CERN also uses Big Data but with another meaning for example. In this post I refer to the specific kind of Big Data that include private information and are mostly generated by humans through social media platforms or records of mobile phone lines.

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Infodemiology in the Battle Against Ebola: Mining the Web for Public Health Surveillance

“Infodemiology includes the analysis of queries from Internet search engines to predict disease outbreaks; monitoring people’s’ status updates on microblogs such as Twitter for syndromic surveillance; detecting and quantifying disparities in health information availability; identifying and monitoring of public health relevant publications on the Internet” (Eysenbach, 2009)

Internet data, especially search engine queries and social media postings, have shown promise in contributing to syndromic surveillance for several communicable diseases, including Ebola. Much has been written about the global response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, “lessons learned” have often focused on operational reasons why health systems faltered and why the humanitarian response came late, often taking donors and international aid agencies like the World Health Organisation (WHO) to task for mishandling the crisis.

A systematic review published in 2014 by Nuti and his colleagues, highlighted that in recent years, researchers have been increasingly utilising online search data for a diversity of health topics with some successful applications in the field of infectious disease surveillance, especially in countries with high Internet penetration levels (Nuti et al., 2014).

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Podcast: “Health: Why Tech and Data, Not Aid is the Answer”

 

Mariéme Jamme is a Tech entrepreneur, activist and co-founder of Africa Gathering, a global platform bringing together entrepreneurs and others to share ideas about development in Africa.

In 2012 Southbank Centre launched Africa Utopia, a festival dedicated to bringing art, ideas and discussions on African politics, technology, education and trade from Africa and the African diaspora to audiences in the UK.

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#GFI4SD – Post 3: Can the Latest Technology Be Utilised to Transform Safety Nets and Social Protection, and how?

 

On the last day of the first Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development, which took place in Bonn, one of the main topics to be tackled was: Disruptors to Development: Utilising the Latest Technology to Transform Safety Nets and Social Protection.

Disruptive technologies can be used to achieve social change. One of the main reasons for that is the ability that we have to capture and analyze data. In many occasions though, this “power” can be proved to be a double edged sword. As mentioned during the discussion: “technology is a knife, you can use that to cook or to kill people“.

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Open Data Day 2017 – Saturday 4th March

Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. For the seventh time in history, groups from around the world will create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities. It is an opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society.

The focus this year will be on four key areas that we believe open data can solve:

  • Open research data
  • Tracking public money flows
  • Open data for environment
  • Open data for human rights

 

Featured Image Credit: Open Knowledge International Blog