Big Data and the Use of Personal Information Essay

Big Data and the Use of Personal Information Essay

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The issue of the collection of big data and how it impacts privacy of the individual is a prevalent concern to many. Many use big data including the government, business, and scientists. It can be argued that there are many benefits of big data, but there are many concerns about its use as well.
To start, it is important to know what big data is and what the sources of it are. Big data is simply put, data of a very large size. It goes beyond conventional data and is capable of reaching beyond traditional structured databases. It may include Tweets, pictures from Facebook, and email addresses, as well as standard items such as phone numbers. Big data is something that is growing exponentially, with analysts estimating that about 90% of it has been collected within the past two years. The sources of these data are found in many places, known as data sensors. These data sensors can be found in social sites such as Facebook or through search engines such as Google. The vast amount of information contained by such sites are then collected and analyzed by supercomputers. Internet sensors are also being installed, so that data may be collected through them as well, and not just sites that explicitly collect user information. Any site that collects user information, such as name, address, and phone number can be used as a data sensor, and contribute to the overall collection of big data.
Several different agencies, including the government, business, and scientists have their own uses and reasons for collecting and using big data. Government and business may collect big data through gathering personal information from cell phones, GPS devices, bank accounts, and retail purchases. The government uses this sort of information gathered t...

... middle of paper ... offenses are misinterpreted, it can be harmful to the individual and may have a negative impact on their career or personal relationships. Many are concerned with the collection from popular sites such as Facebook, and believe that they should have the option of opting out of data collection programs. Countless individuals are concerned with the increasingly quick loss of privacy and ability to control their own personal information. Many believe they have the right to have their personal data removed if they so choose. Several state that they are afraid of the US turning into a surveillance state and cite Big Brother as a concern. Many are concerned that the increasing use of big data is a little too reminiscent of Orwell and are worried that the near future is going to be like 1984.
Ultimately, big data is a very prevalent issue to today’s political culture.

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