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Big Data Dangers

Big Data Dangers

Big Data Dangers

As many of you will no doubt be aware, it has been a long time since I’ve graced the website with my dulcet tones, and although the masses must now be swarming to read my latest blog post1 with a fervent sense of anticipation one could previously only expect having a £1000 bet come in at the Grand National2.

This time, I’m going to be briefly touching on the story of Big Data, using Cambridge Analytica as a poignant example of the serious dangers which are exposed whilst big data grows. I’m not going to rehash the same story you’ve probably read hundreds of times for two major reasons; firstly, nobody truly understands the scope of the problem when they’ve reported on it. Secondly, I don’t think that the story has been covered properly.

This isn’t an issue with huge corporations, if they can be trusted with your personal data, because they can’t. It isn’t in their interests to be trustworthy with your personal data, it’s in their interests to monetize every part that they can. This may be in a completely “benign” way but it has lasting ramifications which if several conditions are met, could result in it becoming oppressive.

A couple examples as food for thought…

Perhaps in a dystopian universe, where people are constantly taking and tagging photographs of themselves and their friends – systems can be developed for facial recognition, combined with people’s mobile phone GPS to track and confirm every individual’s movement at every time. This would be the kind of technology Big Brother3 would’ve been inspired by – who needs two-way televisions eh?

Perhaps your Tesco Clubcard, generously giving you a 50p saving the next time you buy loo roll but also being able to associate every purchase you’ve ever redeemed points for over the duration of its use to a specific individual and their address. It would be invaluable for a medical or life insurance company to have a reliable copy of all purchases an individual has made over decades.

Don’t trust anyone with your data but yourself, and even then….

1so many people, I daresay it’s a good job our website is hosted by a 3rd party and isn’t DoS’ing an internet pipe Satisnet owns
2This is not me condoning horse racing. It’s a cruel and grotesque sport, which is also rigged (I have no proof here)
3Orwell’s Big Brother not the BBC’s Big Brother. I’m not an avid watcher but I’m pretty sure Davina McCall has got the facial recognition and movement tracking down to a tee.