Articles on Big data

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Facebook already controls how its users’ data can be gathered and shared. It’s university ethics boards that need to join the digital age. Shutterstock

Regulating Facebook won’t prevent data breaches

The Cambridge Analytica scandal wasn't a data breach – it was a violation of academic ethics. Maybe it's universities, not social networks, that need to update their privacy settings.
Tech companies can use differential privacy to collect and share aggregate data about user habits, while maintaining individual privacy. Tim Snell/Flickr

Explainer: what is differential privacy and how can it protect your data?

How should privacy be protected in a world where data is gathered and shared with increasing speed and ingenuity? Differential privacy, a new model of cyber security, provides a potential solution.
Images created by NASA with satellite data helped the U.S. Department of Agriculture analyze outbreak patterns for southern pine beetles in Alabama, in spring 2016. NASA

Can scientists learn to make ‘nature forecasts’ just as we forecast the weather?

Big data open-access publishing and other advances offer ecologists the ability to forecast events like pest outbreaks over days and seasons rather than decades. But scholars need to seize this opportunity.

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