Big data isn’t good or bad – it’s how you use it

Don’t be evil. That expression is famous as the unofficial motto for Google, which says that means – among other things – focusing on customers’ needs and delivering the best products and services possible.
That’s certainly an admirable aspiration for any business. But the massive amounts of customer data that businesses (and other organizations) are now able to collect, keep and analyze raise new questions about how such data are used.
Using business information to “focus on customers’ needs” and improve products and services certainly sounds like something most customers would want. Especially if they explicitly provided information to a business with the expectation of getting better – and, yes, smarter – products and services … that is, loyal shopper discounts, advance notice of sales they might be interested in, alerts when upgrades for past purchases become available, etc.

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