Do you own a cell phone? Do you use a credit or debit card? Do you use the internet?

When I think of Big Data, the first thing that comes to mind is Google searches

If so, then you are leaving behind bread crumbs, trailing to you. This video shares with us 4 scary things about Big Data.

However, at the end, I question how scary these things really are.

Your Secrets

Big Data can find out what your secrets are. Such as medical records, banking records, addictions, affairs etc. And it’s not just using the internet, but GPS as well. Some companies make money just by selling information about their consumers.

Their Secrets

There is no Freedom of Information Act for private retailers. This is what led to the Target scandal. Using data from guest IDs, they determined a teenage girl was pregnant before her own father knew.

Discrimination

Who decides what relevant search results are? You. That means that your search results will not be the same as Matt’s next door.

We Have No Idea How Much We Give Away

Do consumers even have any idea how much data their giving out? Not really.

There are  “data brokers,” that know a lot of information about a lot of people. A company called Acxiom has about 1,500 pieces of information on about 200,000,000 Americans. This is more than half of the country’s population.

Inequality of Transparency

Companies know all about you, but you don’t know much about them. Nor do you know what they know about you. Although a “Data Broker Accountability and Transparency Act” has been introduced, so that consumers have more control over the information about them.


Certainly it is unsettling that companies have so much information about us. However, that’s also what enables Netflix to give me recommendations of awesome shows that I love. I also don’t have to watch ads about stupid stuff that I would never buy. Overall, I would say that my lifestyle has improved since Big Data became a Big thing. I am fine with companies having access to information about me, as long as I am benefiting from it. For those of you scared about a future employer finding out about your affair…well you shouldn’t have had the affair in the first place.

They say that there is an inequality of transparency, but this isn’t always true. Because clearly there are people withholding information from their employers and their families, that maybe they shouldn’t. If you had an addiction, I believe your employer has a right to know. If you are truly a productive and effective employee, then that shouldn’t affect your standing. And if you are really that concerned about it all, then use public computers.

Some clearly disagree with me though. Watch this video to see their point of view, that is summarized above this.

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