Last month, the White House released a comprehensive report on the use of “big data” in the public and private sectors. Employers should pay particular attention to one of its central forecasts: the EEOC and other federal antidiscrimination agencies may begin scrutinizing how employers collect and use big data in managing their workforces.
The concept of “big data” is difficult to define. The report observed that big data generally “reflect[s] the growing technological ability to capture, aggregate, and process an ever-greater volume, velocity, and variety of data.” “Big data” describes the process by which an entity gathers massive amounts of information from social media, the internet, and other (typically electronic) sources. Websites use big data to deliver user-specific advertisements. Medical researchers and healthcare providers use it to develop targeted disease prevention methods. Financial institutions use it to better detect cyber fraud. The CIA even used big data to track down Osama Bin Laden.Continue Reading Does Data Discriminate? Perspectives for Employers on the White House’s Recent “Big Data” Report