Examples of using the Data Hazards#
Here we share a series of examples of how people have made use of the Data Hazards in their work. All examples here are shared with permission.
Holly Fraser, University of Bristol, used the Data Hazards with MSc students studying Digital Health and Care for an AI and Ethics themed seminar.
The seminar went really well I thought, and the labels linked really well with the other ethics content in the course. I adapted the slides you provided to give an overview of the labels, and found some real life examples of the hazards (e.g. Boris Johnson blaming a ‘mutant algorithm’ for the A-Level results prediction fiasco back in 2020, instead of the government taking accountability), then asked the students to apply the labels to some real life projects. I used my PhD project as an example, and some other people from the Digital Health CDT kindly let me use their projects as well.
I asked for some feedback at the end, and the students said they found the labels easy to use and seemed to understand the concepts really well. They all managed to apply multiple labels to the different projects, so I think the label imagery and the explanations worked well in the different research contexts. They had one comment on the label ‘High environmental use’, where they definitely understood the concept but weren’t sure how to measure high or low use, or what unit they would use to quantify it, which I thought was an interesting discussion point.
The students worked in small groups (about 5 per group) which worked well, I think even pairs would have been fine too though.
Nina Di Cara used the Data Hazards to teach MSc students in Medical Statistics and Health Data Science at the University of Bristol about data ethics.
Using the Data Hazards cards students really quickly started talking about what they thought. We had a good group discussion for 20 minutes in groups of 4-5 and afterwards the groups fed back about what they thought.
One really interesting observation made by one of the students was that the Hazards naturally split into those which apply in the development of a project, and those which apply in the way that information about the project is shared.
I’m planning to use this again next year as it went really well, especially for a topic which can be tricky for people to get started on.
Natalie Zelenka used the Data Hazards in her thesis as part of the discussion of the ethical aspects of her work. See this example on Natalie’s website
You can also see another analysis by Natalie here.
Susana Román García has integrated the Data Hazards analysis into her PhD work, including it as part of roadmap to ethical and reproducible research. See Susana’s beautiful poster about her work is available here, presented at COMBINE 2022.
Susana Román García delivered a Data Hazards Workshop at COMBINE 2022 after attending our facilitator training in Summer 2022. You can see Susana’s workshop materials here. As a result we also recieved some new Data Hazard suggestions from the attendees!