Human collection of data with Herman Hollerith

Human have been storing data ever since we have carved drawings into cave walls. These images, whilst not appearing as tables of numbers show various information for example relative sizes of objects and the population of a family. The first census however occurred in Babylonia in 4000BC as a way of calculating how much food was required (office For National Statistics,2011). Machines assisted in the production and collection of data with Herman Hollerith designing the first machine to read punch. Cards for the 1890 united states election (united states census Bureaus, 2013). Use of digital machines to store and retrieve data did not occur until the 1960s and the use of these data bases in marketing did not appear until much later. It is natural of humans to collect, analyses and display data to explain phenomena in the world around us.

Data base marketing is a systematic approach to the gathering, consolidation, and processing to customer data (both for customers and potential customers) that is maintained in a company’s data base (Rouse, 2017). This process was pioneered in the 1960s by Lester Wunderman through direct marketing (Wunderman, 2013), then was practiced as relationship management (CRM) in the 1960s (Verrill, 2013). An example of CRM is rewards cards (i.e. Fly buys) which give rewards for each dollar spent at a certain store. This occurred alongside the web boom of the late 1990s and the web 2.0 and the smart phone boom of today with the Average Australian user in the month of July 2013 spending 38 hours online across 60 sessions online with an aggregate total of 31.8 billon page views (Nielsen, 2013), web applications that can draw inferences about potential or existing customers from this low cost and essay to process data source gain a significant competitive advantage. This essay will discuss the ethical implications of the retrieval and use such data using web based data mining using the Australian computer society’s (ACS) code of ethics and code of professional conduct.

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The Australian computer society is the professional information for Australia’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector (Australian computer society, 2013). All members of the ACS must up hold the ACS code of ethics and code of professional conduct. The code of professional conduct identifies six core ethical values and associated requirements for Professional conduct. The primary of the public Interest, The enhancement of quality of life, honestly, competence, professional development and professionalism (Australian computing society, 2013). The following sections will cover the previously stated ethical values and how they relate to the process of data mining data which has collected from the web.

The code of professional conduct states that the public interest takes precedence over personal, private and sectional interests (Australian computer society, 2012). The transcends the need for your work to adhere to the law and instead requires that works by ACS members be completed and used in an ethical way. Adhering to this value requires understanding the potential stakeholders and their interests; in the case of web based data mining this is a web site user who is using the website is accessed by a user for its intended use (Which is defined by the business) then Identifying their interests should be straight forward for example an e-commerce website’s users are customers whose interests include privacy, receiving the good or service and the price of the product. These three attributes can possibly be affected by the ICT workers but it is the first and third that can be affected by data mining which will be discussed later.

Preserving the confidentially and privacy of the information of other is the subsection of the value of ensuring public interest which is most related to data mining. Over the last few years we have seen compromises of large company data bases such as the Sony’s play station user data base since the attack was considered preventable. Sony was fined 250,000 (Warman, 2013) under the data protection act. In Australia data protection laws are listed under the privacy act which regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal information about individuals (Electronic Frontiers Australia, 2006) knowledge of the privacy act (which is being significantly amended in March 2014) is thus paramount to ensuring that as an ICT professional you are performing with in the public’s best interest.


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