Ethical challenges with Big Data
Project at a glance

Project at a glance

Big data has the potential to become the 'oil' of the 21st century. The analysis of data creates opportunities for the application and utilisation of databases. In some industries, this has created a gold-rush atmosphere. In the current discussion, primarily the advantages of the new technological possibilities are being examined. However, research on the ethical challenges of the use of big data is still in its infancy.

Within the scope of this project, the ethical challenges associated with the use of big data are scientifically examined. Based on the result of the analysis, recommendations are being developed for politics, companies, the scientific community and the public and will be published as an expert report.

  • Project

    Ethical challenges of big data applications
  • Project Leader

    Hauser Christian More about Hauser Christian
  • Involved parties

    PRME Business Integrity Action Center
    Schweizerische Akademie der Technischen Wissenschaften (SATW)
    Ethik-Zentrum der Universität Zürich
    Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt (Empa), Technology and Society Lab More about the involved
  • Funding

    Schweizerische Akademie der Technischen Wissenschaften (SATW)


The following former employees of University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons were involved in the project:

  • Helene Blumer, Scientific Assistant
Additional Information

Additional Information


  • Hauser, C. (im Druck): The ethics of Big Data applications in the consumer sector, in: Braschler M, Stadelmann T, Stockinger K (Eds.): Applied Data Science – Lessons Learned for the Data-Driven Business (with Christen M, Blumer H, Huppenbauer M.)
  • Hauser, C. (2015): Schweizer Unternehmen sehen Digitalisierung als Chance, in: Die Volkswirtschaft, Vol. 88, Nr. 5 (mit Deflorin, P. & Scherrer-Rathje, M.)
  • Hauser, C., Blumer, H., Christen, M., Hilty, L., Huppenbauer, M., & Kaiser, T. (2017). Ethische Herausforderungen für Unternehmen im Umgang mit Big Data. Zürich: SATW.
  • Christen, M., Hauser, C., Blumer, H., & Huppenbauer, M. (In Press). The ethics of Big Data applications in the consumer sector. In M. Braschler, T. Stadelmann, & K. Stockinger (Eds.), Applied Data Science: Lessons learned for the data driven business. [S.l.]: Springer.

Parties involved

The Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) is a non-commercially oriented, politically independent umbrella organisation that brings together individuals, institutions and professional associations in Switzerland which are active in the technical sciences, their application and promotion.

The Centre for Ethis of the University of Zurich (EZEN) is a unique initiative of various faculties in Switzerland. It conducts and coordinates teaching and research in ethics at the University of Zurich.

The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) and itsTechnology and Society Laboratory is the interdisciplinary research institute of the ETH Domain for Materials Science and Technology. As a bridge between research and practical application, it develops solutions for the priority challenges facing industry and creates the scientific basis for the sustainable development of our society.