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Ethical Considerations

The data from the Cassini mission upended everything when it came to the science of our solar system. Curt Neibur, a NASA scientist working with the data, had this to say:

Enceladus has no business existing, and yet there it is, practically screaming at us, 'Look at me, I completely invalidate all of your assumptions about the solar system'!

It's easy to get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task when analyzing a set of data like this, and to quote Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) from Jurassic Park:

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.

This is especially true when it comes to working with behavioral data that may contain private information about people. The boundaries are constantly being tested and many times programmers are isolated just enough from the overall project that they're unaware of the potentially harmful outcome of their work.

In this section we'll discuss the idea of "asking whether we should", and also what type of ammunition we'll be giving our analysts.