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IBE Report Covers Big Data Ethics



The Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) has released a document that hopes to clear up ethical issues related to Big Data. Big Data is becoming increasingly popular as businesses attempt to improve and expand by finding trends and patterns in growing sets of data. IBE say there are both risks and opportunities related to Big Data and their Business Ethics and Big Data briefing will help define the positives and negatives of the process.

The consequences and repercussions of questionable ethical conduct when dealing with Big Data can affect a company’s reputation, customer relationships and ultimately financial performance. Even the perception of unethical data handling has the power to undermine both internal and external trust, even when handled by third parties.

In a fast growing and fairly new regulatory area, it can be difficult for business to determine the right approach and define responsibilities. Some internationally recognised standards do exist, and can provide some guidelines and assistance to organisations seeking to deal with these issues in their code of ethics or internal policies. This Briefing outlines some of these.

More structured forms of governance of Big Data are necessary in order to minimise the harm and maximise the benefits from its use, including considerations of risk and risk management.

The IBE encourages companies to articulate their own specific approach, based on their corporate values. Open dialogue and a joint effort of companies and public bodies can help promote effective action and ensure stakeholders are fully aware of the real risks that they face.

The IBE Briefing also provides a set of questions that can help ethics practitioners liaise with their colleagues and make sure that their organisation lives up to its values when dealing with Big Data.

Questions for Ethics and Compliance Practitioners in their roles:

  • Do we know how the company uses Big Data and to what extent it is integrated into strategic planning?
  • Do we send a privacy notice when we collect personal data? Is it written in clear and accessible language which allows users to give a truly informed consent?
  • Does my organisation assess the risks linked to Big Data?
  • Does my organisation have any safeguard mechanisms in place to mitigate these risks?
  • Do we make sure that the tools to manage these risks are effective and measure outcome?
  • Do we conduct appropriate due diligence when sharing or acquiring data from third parties?

Philippa Foster Back CBE, IBE’s Director said: “As Big Data becomes more and more influential in everyone’s life, businesses must engage in a broader ethical discussion about how handling Big Data can be consistently aligned with corporate values and behaviour. This will not only encourage public confidence that data is handled in a responsible way, but will help mitigate any potential reputation risks.” 

Read the free briefing in full here.


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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