From health and banking to education and shopping – big data has completely changed the way we experience the world around us. But besides its benefits, most people don’t really understand the dangers of this phenomenon.
Namely, this can jeopardize the traditional notion of privacy in the digital world. The problem is so acute that there were already a lot of official appeals to highlight the need for stronger privacy safeguards. Bearing in mind the importance of this topic, we decided to explain to you how big data expansion can significantly damage our privacy in the future.
6 ways big data jeopardize personal privacy
A big number of IT specialists already pointed out that information in the digital age need careful monitoring because the very essence of big data may influence our privacy.According to digital security experts at Aussie Writings, the risk of being deprived of private life is constantly increasing.
They noted that the development of technology, Internet, social media, and automation make it much more likely to happen than a decade ago. But what are the exact fears of privacy issues in this field? Let’s take a closer look.
1. Big time data breach
We’ve already seen how Yahoo experienced two major data breaches, affecting more than a billion accounts altogether. This is not the only example as other companies faced similar problems in the last few years: JP Morgan Chase, eBay, Target Stores, etc. Big data brings huge risk of large-scale information leakage and this is not something that we can always prevent from happening. The only question is who and how will get exposed in future cases like this.
2. Individuals don’t control personal information
More than 90% of U.S. citizens believe consumers have lost control of how companies are using their personal information. This is not too far away from the truth and it’s something that can frighten every single person in the world. We can hardly even guess who owns information about us, our families, jobs, leisure activities, and hundreds of other details. We are poorly protected and we can do almost nothing about it at the moment.
3. Weak data protection
National governments and international organizations still don’t have strict and uniform laws against big data misuse. According to the recent study, unauthorized use of IT systems is endemic across Europe as almost half of CIOs claim it’s a widespread problem. The situation is not much different in other parts of the world, which means that people can barely ever feel safe when it comes to big data exposure.
4. Data sales
The fact that you revealed some details about yourself online doesn’t mean that you want to see a third party obtaining this information eventually. However, cases like this are not rare at all. As companies gather huge volumes of data about everything and everybody, they can sell it to other businesses that search for this kind of information. They don’t ask for your permission and there are no direct regulations which could prevent this scenario from happening.
Data science has the power to analyze and predict things that even you don’t know about yourself. This is extremely dangerous because it can automate discrimination and let it go by without anyone taking responsibility for it. For instance, algorithms can learn that a job candidate has a chronic disease and eliminate this person from the hiring process. There are countless similar examples how big data can boost discrimination in modern societies.
6. Nobody is anonymous
Today, it is almost impossible to stay anonymous. Whatever you do, say, watch, read, click, or comment will be recorded and analyzed through big data algorithms. The only escape from it is to isolate completely from the outside world, which of course is not an option. Therefore, you should bear in mind that your favorite retail store probably knows all about your vegetarian diet. And the bank knows even the smallest transaction you’ve ever made.
Not to mention the Government and its institutions like FBI or other intelligence agencies. They have your fingerprints, bank account information, photos, everything. This can have serious political consequences but also implications on the state of human rights in the long run.
Big data changed the way we live and allowed us to enjoy benefits unknown to previous generations. It also brought us new privacy issues that we still cannot figure out completely, but we will probably have to find the solution somewhere in between. In this article, we showed you 6 ways how big data jeopardize our privacy – feel free to write us a comment and tell us what you think is the biggest threat in this field.