Right or wrong? A Guide for Ethical Data Science

Right or wrong? A Guide for Ethical Data Science


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This presentation explores how actuaries fit into the world of data science and provides a background into the collaboration between the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) on the practical and ethical implications of data science.
In 2018, the RSS and IFoA held regional workshops in the UK with data science professionals, who were consulted on four key questions affecting the data science industry. Those questions were:
• What does a good data science workflow look like?
• How should data science fit into the structure of an organisation?
• What do executives and managers need to know about data science?
• What is a data scientist’s responsibility to wider society?
While agreement for good practice was found across many aspects, some of the more complex issues require further thought and input from the professions. This presentation will showcase the recently published joint guidance entitled ‘A Guide for Ethical Data Science’ which focuses on 5 relevant identified themes and principles within data ethics:
1. Seek to enhance the value of data science for society
2. Avoid harm
3. Apply and maintain professional competence
4. Seek to preserve or increase trustworthiness
5. Maintain accountability and oversight
It will provide an insight into the themes as well as working practices to help actuaries consider data ethics.

Valerie Du Preez (FIA) Managing Director, Dupro Ltd: Valerie has extensive actuarial experience focusing on developing sustainable finance and risk operating strategies and optimising key business drivers impacting organisational performance. She advises insurers and technology providers on the use of innovative technologies including advanced data science techniques that incorporates business domain experience. She has recently played a key role within the IFoA’s virtual data science conference being on the opening panel with IFoA president John Taylor. She has worked with insurance and software clients within data science, providing advisory services and thought leadership and has been involved in data science and modelling analytics and insights through the IFoA Data Working Party. She was on the joint RSS/IFoA Task Force drafting the ethical guide for practitioners working in data science.

Leisha Watson (LLB (Hons) DipLP) Regulatory Lawyer, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries: Leisha is an experienced Regulatory Counsel, working in professional regulation and discipline, qualified as a Solicitor in Scotland.
She provides general and regulatory legal advice to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), including assisting with the drafting of actuarial standards and guidance. The IFoA is the UK’s only chartered professional body dedicated to educating, developing and regulating actuaries in the public interest, both based in the UK and internationally.
Leisha is the key executive lead and contact at the IFoA who managed the collaboration with the UK Royal Statistical Society on the ethical implications of data science and worked with the RSS and IFoA member volunteers to jointly produce the Guide for Ethical Data Science.


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