Big Data's Dehumanizing Impact On Public Policy

Matt Asay | ReadWrite | July 12, 2013

Correlation-driven Big Data approaches to public policy issues try to de-humanize human decisions. That's always bad policy.

One of the mantras of the Big Data revolution is that causation no longer matters. It's enough, the theory goes, to seek correlations in our copious data, deciphering "what" is happening and not bothering with "why." But not only is this problematic for a business looking for optimal retail pricing strategies, it's dramatically more so for those charged with crafting public policy. 

For governments and other public institutions, it turns out that understanding causation matters a great deal.