Big data is the new A-​​bomb

Not since Robert Oppen­heimer faced down his demons after spear­heading the Man­hattan Project have sci­en­tists been faced with as big an eth­ical dilemma as big data rep­re­sents, says Albert-​​László Barabási,a physi­cist and net­work sci­en­tist at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and Har­vard Med­ical School, in a Politico op-​​ed this past week.

This summer, while vis­iting my home­town in Tran­syl­vania, I had the oppor­tu­nity to talk with a neighbor who spent years as a polit­ical pris­oner. Once freed … he received tran­scripts of his own com­mu­ni­ca­tions after the fall of com­mu­nism. They spanned seven vol­umes. It was toxic and dehu­man­izing. … So why are we begin­ning to spread com­mu­nism 2.0 around the world, a quarter-​​century after the Iron Curtain’s col­lapse? This is effec­tively what NSA sur­veil­lance has become. If we sci­en­tists stay silent, we all risk becoming dig­i­tally enslaved,” Barabási wrote.

Read the article at CNBC →