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What are the social implications of data mining?
Data mining is the process of finding useful new correlations, patterns, and trends by transferring through a high amount of data saved in repositories, using pattern recognition technologies including statistical and mathematical techniques. It is the analysis of factual datasets to discover unsuspected relationships and to summarize the records in novel methods that are both logical and helpful to the data owner.
Data mining systems are designed to promote the identification and classification of individuals into different groups or segments. From the aspect of the commercial firm, and possibly for the industry as a whole, it can interpret the use of data mining as a discriminatory technology in the rational search of profits.
There are various social implications of data mining which are as follows −
Privacy − It is a loaded issue. In current years privacy concerns have taken on a more important role in American society as merchants, insurance companies, and government agencies amass warehouses including personal records.
The concerns that people have over the group of this data will generally extend to some analytic capabilities used to the data. Users of data mining should start thinking about how their use of this technology will be impacted by legal problems associated with privacy.
Profiling − Data Mining and profiling is a developing field that attempts to organize, understand, analyze, reason, and use the explosion of data in this information age. The process contains using algorithms and experience to extract design or anomalies that are very complex, difficult, or time-consuming to recognize.
The founder of Microsoft's Exploration Team used complex data mining algorithms to solve an issue that had haunted astronomers for some years. The problem of reviewing, describing, and categorizing 2 billion sky objects recorded over 3 decades. The algorithm extracted the relevant design to allocate the sky objects like stars or galaxies. The algorithms were able to extract the feature that represented sky objects as stars or galaxies. This developing field of data mining and profiling has several frontiers where it can be used.
Unauthorized Used − Trends obtain through data mining designed to be used for marketing goals or some other ethical goals, can be misused. Unethical businesses or people can use the data obtained through data mining to take benefit of vulnerable people or discriminate against a specific group of people. Furthermore, the data mining technique is not 100 percent accurate; thus mistakes do appear which can have serious results.
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