Big data: a threat to privacy? (ITT2)

Many people are talking about Big data, which could be described as massive amount of online information. Compared to small data, which describes data that can be smaller in volume and format, and can be analyzed by people, big data, on the contrary, is popular for its link to machine analysts.

Big data is commonly related to the 3 Vs addressing the volume, the variety and the velocity  at which the data is processed, which implies benefits to the process of big data analytics. But what about our rights to protect private information? Can we remain anonymous? How concerned are we about the impact of big data on our private lives? Can big data be a threat to our identity?

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8 Responses to Big data: a threat to privacy? (ITT2)

  1. Flux_Capacitor says:

    In my opinion, it is true that, nowadays, when we click anything on our computer screen, we are also rising personal information to the network. Although we not send information that identifies us (full name, ID number, address), with our actions, we create a pattern of behavior on the network and, most importantly for businesses, a footprint of our tastes and preferences regarding consumption habits. This presents a serious problem of violation of privacy and, as citizens, we have the right to express our disagreement with the surveillance of Big Brother, even if it is a machine.

    However, trying to give a fair opinion, Big Data is simply a tool that can be used to beneficial or questionable things. We can not forget the advantages of using this technology in monitoring climate change, predicting natural disasters (volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.) or control of diseases and pandemics. All these uses allow advance in protective measures, achieving save many lives.

  2. AldousHuxley says:

    Big Data will be the most important technology in the future, because all companies will want to know what is the consumer’s tenderness, and this allows them to make more accurate calculus about their production. They don’t care the consumer; that isn’t new. But unfortunately, if companies want to know something, they will know.

    But is it a really problem for us? Nowadays, a lot of us we are exposing our data for all our contacts in social networks, and many people can know our political opinion, musical preferences, hobbies… So maybe we should think where is the limits about privacy and be more careful, because in some cases we don’t know that.

    However, my point of view about this is that we should restrict the use of Big Data for scientific or social purposes, like Flux_Capacitor has said, and we cannot throw out all possibilities that offers us this technology only we have a paranoid thoughts about that. The problem isn’t the technology, but the use of companies could make to these data heap, so we must to press our governments to make more strict laws for citizen’s privacy protection.

  3. I_am_your_father says:

    Big Data is one on the most important advance in the communication, actually. Thanks to this new concept we can store and find a large amount of data. In 2011, It was estimated that around 600 exabytes (1 trillion of bytes) were surfing on Internet. Furthermore, Nowadays, this quantity of information overtakes reaching the number of more than 1 zettabyte (1 quadrillion of bytes). For example, the social network Facebook store today 100 Petabytes (1 billion of bytes).

    This information is really difficult to store with security. In fact, a lot of companies use these data for making studies about habits of people. Later, with the conclusion of studies, enterprises can do customized information for each type of possible client. However, I think that our rights to protect private information is violated. On Internet, we don’t have privacy because each of one movements in the network is registered.

    Although, my opinion is that our information should remain anonymous, the society are not concerned about the impact of big data that put our privacy and our identity at risk. So the answer of the question if Big Data could be a threat to our identity I believe that the response is Big Data not could be a threat, Big Data IS A THREAT.

  4. binter+ says:

    Big data may offer a series of useful services as Flux_Capacitor says, however, it also has a negative impact on our lives. We have the right to privacy, in other words, to protect personal information and Big data is infringing it.
    Nowadays, I reckon it is impossible to remain anonymous, because the data generated when accessing the Internet is continuously being collected. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are doing.
    Moreover, it is very difficult to fight for our right of privacy as few people are really aware of what we are losing and take it seriously enough. Most of them don’t care about illegal surveillance operations and they don’t think that encoding personal data is valuable. Nonetheless, I totally agree with I_am_your_father, it is a real and direct threat to our identity.

  5. Mr. Robot says:

    One thing is clear, with the use of this technology, private information is within everyone`s reach. However, this Information can be “restricted” if people are careful with the information they upload to the Internet. From the standpoint of the company, Big data helps to know who buys products and the opinion they have of it. And from customers’ point of view, this technology can help to avoid unwanted advertisement and have better products. For example, the article link below talks about the information that Facebook collects from users:

    http://www.elladodelmal.com/2016/10/quieres-saber-como-piensa-facebook-que.html

    Instead, the problem with this technology is not the technology itself but the misuse of it, for example, if it is used to control us, to know where we are and what we do. As AldousHuxley said, Big Data should be restricted to scientific or social use.

  6. The White Walker says:

    Today, as Flux_Capacitor and AldousHuxley say, Big Data has increased its use especially in large corporations because it provides patterns of how each individual is (tastes, hobbies… etc), and thus to establish classifications according to the needs of companies. Based on this, it is possible to have useful information to know how to act with a particular product.
    However, as I_am_your_father said, obtaining these data repeatedly is violating the privacy of users and, in many cases, they do not notify them clearly. From my point of view, it is we who are the ones that provide this type of data to large companies posting personal information on social networks that infringes our privacy. As AldousHuxley says, this technology is not bad because it can contribute to very beneficial uses in different areas such as in tourism, but needs to be legally defined.

  7. xD says:

    As comments before by respondents, it’s a very interesting topic Big Data because it manages many information from different person like as behaviour, likes, dislikes whatever topic in our lives. Many enterprise collect this information and sell to other for forming kind of groups and create publicity for these people.
    Point of view from business, it helps to sell a lot of products and services. However, at the same time it threats our privacity lives, because we do not have an option to choose it or if we want to appear our information in database.
    UE try to investigate important enterprise to collect data like Google, Amazon for not becoming monopoly with this technology. In my opinion, it is very important to create specific laws to limit which information is private because nowadays we don’t have enough laws for protect us.

  8. Nicholas Santana says:

    In my opinion, Big Data is the way to go in Information Technologies nowadays. Processing huge amounts of information in an efficient way to pull out useful conclusions has always been a nearly impossible task; but now we have extremely efficient computing systems which can adress this task. Ever since IT engineers have been working in Big Data systems and algorithms, the perks of this technology have been succesfully proven (i.e. Big Data being used for urban planning, making transportation more environmentally friendly: https://www.asee.org/public/conferences/64/papers/14498/view ).

    I think the thread to privacy is minimal in the case of Big Data applications. Even though different Big Data assessments require different data sources, meaning that the data sources can be either private or non-private (i.e. private data from the usage habits of Android users in Spain and non-private anonymous data from the best-selling car models from 2011 to 2014); when using a big enough quantity of data (and that is what happens with Big Data) the sense of privacy is lost. As no single data is analyzed (the data is processed as a whole), no single user gets his privacy threatened.

    However, if the database used for storing this huge quantity of information used for analysis is vulnerable to hacker attacks or other kind of accesses that can be used maliciously to gather individual, private data from them; then there can be an important thread to privacy. I think this is the way in which Big Data can be a thread to privacy, it is not in Big Data itself (as in terms of data processing and algorithms) but in the way the individual data has to be stored in a database to process it.

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