Is Privacy Going to Be An Issue After the Big Data Revolution?

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Many tech commentators and IT specialists have raised concerns about the downfall of privacy after the rise of big data analytics and technology. Mobile technologies have now enabled the mapping of every physical move by business enterprises while all activities going on online in any company are carefully tracked. For instance, quizzes by Buzzfeed urged users in their millions to divulge private responses to a host questions that are deeply personal in 2017. Although there were claims by Buzzfeed that it was just after the more significant trends of aggregate data, personalized and identifiable information could still be procured by data brokers to generate a profit.

Individuals who are willing to sacrifice their privacy have had significant benefits from the big data revolution. The Obama administration formed a working group for big data and privacy which inferred that big data was saving millions of dollars in taxpayer money and saving lives. The Working Group also recommended new policies to govern the practices in the big data industry. In this article, we are going to discuss the effects of the big data revolution on our privacy and that of business organizations.

Small companies and big corporations require protecting their vulnerable data

Critical information and data for companies and even personal data have become especially very vulnerable today as newer technology gives birth to even more sophisticated hacking. There has been a thin line between the need for companies to collect and store and query the millions of bytes of information that is generated on a daily basis using Google BigQuery with the ethical and privacy needs of these corporations. Both business organizations and government agencies are usually very slow in comprehending the big data and privacy needs of the 21st century and how to address them.

It is of critical importance that businesses should inform their consumers of what data is stored and used before any form of private or personal data is collected. Companies should be able to afford their consumers the luxury of giving consent and opting out from data collection exercises. Consumers should be periodically reminded by companies about the policies that have been put in place for storing any form of data that has been collected from them. Although business organizations have the liberty of innovation in how their business models should look like, these models should not have a negative impact on the consumers who drive the growth of companies.

There is no magic in big data

It is inevitable to have a big data society with a bunch of promises. However, data privacy should be understood properly and be an integral part of such a society. There are fundamental principles that business organizations and government agencies should keep in mind to have the benefits of big data while maintaining privacy at the same time. Small companies and big corporations should stop thinking of privacy as just the mere fact of maintaining a secret. Businesses should start looking at privacy more broadly as the rules that must govern how private information is handled and utilized. Companies should embrace rules that serve to protect computer security, library records, medical data, financial data and most importantly, trade secrets. It is also important that governments enact legislation that will govern the use of big data technology and analytics and how large data sets are created.

Corporate research

When asking the questions on how the needs of the consumer and the desires of business corporations are to be balanced, it is critical to take all the industry players into consideration. The Tech executives at Facebook and Google are interested in learning lots of insights from big data. However, they are more concerned about the privacy of their users and their own privacy. Organizations that specialize in taking scientific polls and surveys gain tremendous benefit from the personal data of individuals who are involved in the surveys. The privacy issue is just part of the conventional one-way approach to conducting research as such organizations do not make any payments to the respondents of such surveys.

About the Author

Contributed by: Linda Gimmeson, a tech writer with a focus in big data, machine learning, & IoT. Linda discusses big data, emerging technologies, and how companies can get real value out of their data.


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