Consider ethical technology issues as data centers grow

Businesses and their data centers collect and generate more data than ever before. Data center administrators and managers enable and implement infrastructures that enable many of the modern technologies and services we take for granted—think smartphones and social media, for example.

But the explosion of data in areas like consumer data calls for close scrutiny. As technology has advanced, businesses and governments have developed complex data centers and infrastructure to store, analyze and manage more data from more diverse places than ever before.

This can put the data center manager in a difficult situation on a day-to-day basis. While the technology exists to collect and store large amounts of data about consumers, and that data provides business benefits, there are always ethical issues of technology to consider. Organizations should navigate the fine line between business goals and ethical practices.

Data center managers must consider these ethical issues when managing data centers, and therefore business and personal data. According to Ken Ledeen and Harry Lewis, two co-authors of Torn to Pieces: Your Life, Freedom, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, Second Editionthey can look to a lesson from the famous Jurassic Park Ethical Technology Guidance Movie: Organizations know they can implement data center infrastructure to collect ever-increasing amounts of data, but organizations and data center administrators should ask themselves whether or not they should do so.

“The data center guy might well say, ‘If you want a data center that stores everyone’s face every 1/30th of a second, I can implement that for you.’ But then the question is, what does it mean to do that?” Ledeen said in a recent interview with TechTarget Editorial. “And one of the responsibilities of the data center worker is to make all these things clear to people that might otherwise be perfectly valid decisions meeting.”

Innovation and extracting business value from data help companies increase their bottom line and drive technological development. As organizations seek to evolve their data center capabilities, administrators and managers can play a role in ensuring business goals do not compromise a company’s core ethical values.

“The difference any one of us can make, to our workplace or to any other institution, can be by asking a timely question about the risks of a new technological innovation,” the authors write.

In this Q&A, Lewis and Ledeen discuss the complexities of data retention laws, privacy, and the role of data center managers in the so-called “digital explosion.” Watch the full interview below about BrightTalk.

Interview with authors of “Blown to Bits”

BrightTalk is a division of TechTarget.

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