Big data gives enterprises increasingly deeper and widespread insight into customer behavior, activities and even location on an individualized yet massive scale as adoption, demand and tools expand this space. This of course has all the usual benefits we’ve covered extensively lately, but from a different angle, it may lead to an “irresistible” surveillance society, according to distinguished IBM engineer Jeff Jonas. He continues to exemplify that big data analytics and insight also optimize targeting, and hence results:
“Just look at the last 10 years of address histories … it is very telling if this is the same person or not,” Jonas said. “Two different things cannot occupy the same space at the same time.”
Analytics engine vendor Cloudscale Chief Executive Bill McColl noted that 80 percent of companies are looking forward to extend their reach beyond offline queries and MapReduce algorithms – with real-time big data analytics.
The prospect of a surveillance society comes in contrast to the benefits that big data brings with it to enterprises and users equally, but this space is beginning to take on a more balanced form. Alongside the Do Not Track IE9 header and Chrome ‘keep my opt outs’ extension, the European Union and FCC are also taking measures to secure users’ privacy amidst, and after the big data revolution.
EU justice chief Viviane Reding proposed a revamp of the Union’s data protection law which would require companies (Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Microsoft in particular) to give users the “right to be forgotten” and withdraw their information from websites. Reding’s proposal would also require any company and website to state why they collecting data before doing so, if approved by the EU.
Google and Facebook were specially addressed by Reding’s revamp proposition, but social networking safety is a pressing matter everywhere. Color is one example of this – a Twitter-like photo sharing social network which shares photos with other Color users within 100 feet. Color recently raised a whopping $41 million in its first round of funding, which means inventors are also seeing the potential of this original, particularly relevant concept.