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Ethics and big data: practices and principles

18 January 2022 , 13:00 17:00 UTC+2

POPNET uncovers unique social network data on the entire population of the Netherlands for academic research purposes. Access to this data brings both exciting opportunities and new challenges. How do we deal with this type of data, and how can we overcome these new challenges?

The POPNET research team welcomes you for a public discussion on how to use population-scale registry data and other sources of administrative data in an ethical and legally sound manner. Join us at our event ‘Ethics and big data: practices and principles’, where we present our research on big data and ethics, and invite experts from the field to share their best and worst practices of working with big data.

Date and time

18 January 2022
13:00 – 17:00


Eelke Heemskerk – Co-director POPNET (University of Amsterdam)
13:50Population-Scale Network Analysis
Frank Takes – Co-director POPNET (Leiden University)
Country-wide administrative register data enables the discovery of population-scale insights into contemporary social scientific problems such as segregation, inequality and poverty. This talk discusses how the POPNET project aims to in the next five years analyze anonymized population-scale social network data on all 17 million inhabitants of the Netherlands, from a social network analysis perspective. The talk presents initial insights and early findings from this analysis, highlighting the complex interplay of family, work, school and neighborhood relations among the Dutch population.
14:05POPNET – Research Findings on the topic Big Data and Ethics
Eelke Heemskerk – Co-director POPNET (University of Amsterdam)
14:20Plenary session: Issues and practices of ethics and big data
In this plenary session the audience shares practices and issues that are arising when working with big data. Questions that arise are used in the break-out sessions, to discuss in groups.
14:30Coffee break
14:40Break-out session
15:10Share results of break-out session
15:20Panel discussion
Moderator: Tobias BlankeDistinguished University Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Humanities (University of Amsterdam)
Stefania Milan — Associate Professor of New Media and Digital Culture (University of Amsterdam)
Emma Beauxis-Aussalet — Assistant Professor Ethical Computing (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Peter-Paul de Wolf — Methodologist (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek in the Netherlands)


Belle van Zuylenzaal  
University Library UvA
Singel 421-427 
1012 WP Amsterdam