My Thoughts about Big Data Privacy

This unit was on Big Data and the privacy concerns that come with it. The biggest take way that I had form this unit is that corporations are scummy and are willing to take your data and use it however you want without really telling you about it. Personally, I don’t care if a company uses the data they get to either suggest more things that I might like to try out like Netflix does or if the company is just using the data to improve their services, but when a company takes data and then just sells it off to whoever wants it that’s when I start having a problem. In a TED talk that we watched called What your smart devices know (and share) about you by Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu, they point out how much data different smart devices collect and then send off back to the companies that they were made by. They make a point that even something like a smart sex toy is sending data back to the company that made it and from a marketing standpoint I can understand where wanting this data would come from as it could help you design a better product, but when companies don’t straight up tell you or ask you if you want your data collected and instead hide it in long sections of small text, I would consider that a pretty scummy move.

Along similar lines the chapter that we read Tracked, Tagged, and Targeted has a part in it where it talks about how much data companies say that they collect verses what they actually collect. It gives uber as and example and talks about how even though uber says that they only track you while you are using the app, but depending on your settings the app could actually track you the entire time that you have it one the phone. This is something that I think Is a gross over use of tracking and is not something that a company should be doing from an ethical stand point. Unfortunately, they get away with this crap mostly because of people’s ignorance. I feel like most people don’t even think about what they are agreeing to when they just mash the ok button when asked about terms and conditions and private policies, I know that I am guilty of this, and I like to think that I am more knowledgeable about this type of thing then most people.

The only thing that I wish this unit talked a little bit more about is why privacy with big data is a more important thing. Don’t get me wrong it’s a supper scummy thing to do when companies collect peoples data without their knowledge, but like what’s the worst that happens from that. We watched the TED talk Why privacy matters by Gleen Greenwald and he talks about why its bad when a government spies on us and the behavioral changes that we make when that happens and that was understandably bad. The only fear that I can think of when it comes to companies with that data is that if the government gets ahold of it and used it to track people, which is something that I don’t really see happening and I think that’s why I don’t have to much of an opinion when it comes to this kind of deal with privacy.



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