I was quite excited to find out about the Big Data: Practical Solutions to Emerging Challenges for Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) webinar offered by PRIM&R. We are in the process of revising the section of our IRB application that deals with data security at my institution, and much of the data we work with certainly fits at least one of the 12 definitions of big data noted in this article that was provided as a background resource by the presenters. Our application revision process has raised many questions: What is the exact scope of the IRB’s responsibility for ensuring researchers’ responsible use of big data? How do we anticipate potential risks, and how do we convey these risks to researchers who may not initially see the potential harms that could arise from lack of attentiveness to ethical use of data?
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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.