A reminder that correlation != causation
"In a report released Wednesday on the use of big data by businesses, the Federal Trade Commission asked companies to consider whether their data sets represented the user population, whether their algorithms were insulated against social bias, and whether the predictions they generated were accurate.Regulator Warns Tech Companies of Big Data Bias - Digits - WSJ
Bias can be difficult to weed out of big data programs, as a string of public incidents has revealed. For example, a company that advertises services to customers who apply through social media may be neglecting less tech-savvy populations, the report said. Alternatively, software that tries to identify promising job applications by factoring in graduation from atop schools may inherit the biases of college admission decisions."