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Opinion Editorials

Big data is watching you – some will panic, others will rejoice

This editorial on big data is the one you should finally read if you’re ignoring the topic. Big Brother is watching, but is panic actually merited?

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ux big data

Big data is our big brother

The prevalence of big data in our lives is leading to a bigger and bigger impact on how we ultimately live our lives. With every email, text message or picture that’s taken seemingly thrust into the infinity of the internet, the implications of meta data accessibility in our lives bring with it a multitude of pros and cons. Weighing the benefits and the risks of this phenomenon is essential to regulating a futuristic reality that has already become the present.

For the individual, privacy may be the main concern regarding the negative impact of data analysis of their personal lives. Anyone with a social media profile has probably been creeped out by ads that seem eerily tailor-fit to their most recent Google searches or even email correspondences. The ability for companies to harness the information from those sources to create a more specific advertising campaign through ad sales is an apparent approach on how to improve the success of e-commerce channels.

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Your data is watching you

Charting new territories

While those results may lead to a better shopping experience or more effective news articles that pop up on a given feed, the risks very well could outweigh the benefits. With access to everything from IP to email addresses so open, personal data utilized for commercial purposes may result in private information being disseminated without the explicit consent of the individual.

While agreeing to terms and conditions does signify consent, the consciousness of signers as to what they are ultimately consenting to is something that is less than enlightened. Agreeing to terms in conditions is essentially like being offered an ultimatum. As such, individuals ultimately resign a degree of their privacy just to have access to tools that have become a necessary part of out lives.

Big data is a lot like the wild-west in the sense that it is uncharted territory for users and analysts alike. With so much exploration into this new frontier, being able to effectively weigh the pros and cons of this technological advent is imperative to making sure it too can be regulated through law and order so that big data is used to the best of its abilities.

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Written By

Brian Clark is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and The Real Daily. He earned a BA in Political Science from The University of Massachusetts, and works in the legal industry by day while also balancing his writing career.

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