Society of Data Miners: Towards a Professional Code of Ethics for Data Mining

Date: 20 March 2017

Time: 18:00-20:30


Following a successful initial meeting, the topics to be included in the code of ethics has become clearer; the required areas range across the potential harm that abuse/misuse of data can create, the various forms that permission for the use of data can take, the focal points of responsibility and broader issues of fairness and societal benefit. The second meeting will seek to further develop the agenda to be covered by the code, with a view to detailed discussion of particular areas in the remaining meetings of the series.

The panellists will be:

Michael Butcher, a past President of the Franco-British Lawyers Society. Michael is also former General Counsel and Company Secretary of Veolia Environment UK and former Legal Director and Company Secretary of Veolia Water UK plc., and has also acted as the Group Legal Director and Company Secretary of Eurotunnel, with a previous career in Europe and the USA in Exxon’s Law Department, and founded the consulting company Delcredere Consultants Ltd. Michael graduated from Keele University with a BA (Hons) degree in Philosophy & Law, is a Bencher of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn and has been honoured by France and made Officier dans l’Ordre National du Merite.

Michael will address the general approach to drafting a code of best practice, drawing on the wide and diverse experience of the members of SocDM and other stakeholders.

Dr W. Kuan Hon, MA(Cantab), LLM(UPenn), MSc(Imperial), LLM(QMUL),PhD(QMUL) (see, is an Editor of the Encyclopaedia of Data Protection and Privacy, Fellow of the Open Data Institute, a Consultant Lawyer for law firm Pinsent Masons, formerly a Senior Researcher at Queen Mary University of London focusing on legal issues in cloud computing including data protection, and an English solicitor and (non-practising) New York attorney, with degrees in law and computing science and a joint law/computer science doctorate. Kuan has presented to CERN, the Cloud Security Alliance and ENISA and published many articles, as well as being a member of the British Computer Society’s Information Privacy Expert Panel.

Kuan will discuss ethical issues to be covered by SocDM’s professional code, in the context of personal data and data protection laws.

Tom Khabaza is the Chairman of the Society of Data Miners, and a data analytics practitioner of 25 years standing.  Tom will chair the panel discussion, present SocDM’s work on the code of practice so far, and indicate the possible areas for further discussion and expansion.

Hugh Lawson-Tancred is the Ethics Co-ordinator of the Society of Data Miners, and has worked on both the practical and theoretical side of data ethics. Hugh will discuss the future work of SocDM on drafting a code of ethics, and the proposed series of consultative meetings.