Has big data changed our lives for the better?

For better or for worse?

The world, now more than ever, is filled with data. Lots and lots of data. Data about anything and everything.

“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine”

2021 has been a year like none other. From a big data perpective, we’ve seen tech companies deal with security breaches, hacks, privacy issues, unethical actions, the list goes on. So, with billions of people entering personal information into our everyday technology, it is worth thinking about the implications that our actions have on ourselves and our lives.

Now, when someone mentions big data, some people tend to think “Oh, big data is bad”. That’s not true.

The reason watching Netflix is such a enjoyable experience is because of big data. Big data collected by the company allows for a customized entertainment experience just for you. The reason Spotify is amazing for listening and discovering new music is because big data collects information about our music tastes and suggests new songs and artists for us to listen to. The reason online shopping is faster, better, and so efficient is because of big data. The reason Twitter, social media, and news sites are so capable of keeping us in the loop is because of big data. It’s all about what we like, what we don’t, and what we should try next. You can imagine the power of big data.

So, big data has helped us in more ways than just one.

But, when does it not?

Big data is a privacy risk if it’s managed poorly.

“With great power comes great responsibility”

What people are talking about today are concerns every company has: breaches and unfair analysis.

And with economic stakes and social consequences, technology gets more and more serious and complex. It’s simple: Data privacy has become one of the defining social and cultural issues of our time.

So, as we head into 2022, we should ask ourselves how we will deal with problems like fake news and misinformation, AI bias, Big Tech’s power, and privacy intrusions.

But for now, the next time you sign up for something on the internet, think twice.

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