When you click on the Terms of Agreement when making a Facebook account, there is probably not much going through your mind. Perhaps you are unaware that you are officially and legally granting your permission to opening up your private information both locally and globally.
On April 10, Mark Zuckerberg testified in Congress regarding the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which Facebook exposed thousands of users’ private information to the data-mining company Cambridge Analytica for political reasons. As a result, the attention of the media was immediately steered to the question of Internet safety and invasion of privacy.
Such case is an example of big data being used for purposes that threaten one’s security. Big data, when used properly, can give many benefits for both corporations and clients. By collecting accurate information, companies can cater their services to match the preference of their target customers. Examples include Google collecting data on your search history and displaying advertisements according to your interests, sports industries collecting statistics on player’s performance and building team strategies, and executing financial trading from data algorithms.
Despite these benefits, there is always a risk big data presents to the security of your information. The fact that multiple distant corporations know your friends, family, residence, habits, social security number, whereabouts, and simply everything about you, is, to a degree, unpropitious. Furthermore, since you have already given your consent to the access of this information, the companies have the potential to take advantage of your data and use it for their social, economic, or political benefits.
“My position is not that there should be no regulation. The real question is what is the right regulation,” said Zuckerberg during his testimony. “It’s not enough to just give people a voice, we have to make sure people aren’t using it to hurt people or spread misinformation. I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy, that’s not what we stand for.”
The rising big data trend has now made much of the Internet engulfed by the threat of breach of privacy. Though unaware, we have already fed data into the hands of companies, whether it was for health, business, education, or interaction online. As you enjoy the benefits of catered services, it is always crucial to keep in mind the weight of your actions as you deliver your information to constitute a corporation’s big data.