From October 2014

BIG Data is Watching YOU!

watchingYouIn a previous post I covered the scope and touched upon some uses of Big Data and in this second post I look at how it can be misused to compromise both your privacy and limit your choices as a consumer.

Do you, like me get annoyed by those little pesky adverts which seem to follow you around from website to website? You may not realise it but that obstinate little advert is targeted at you because you probably searched for or maybe mentioned the particular product brand or genre on social media or maybe even in an innocuous email. I once tried an experiment by changing my age in Facebook and the usual adverts were replaced by a completely different type aimed at my (new) age group. This is just the thin edge of the wedge of what is coming as more and more companies get up to speed with Big Data. The trivial stuff can usually be dispatched with just a little knowledge such as turning off 3rd party cookies in your browser settings, as these arethirdparty the ones that follow you around from site to site. Or the ‘do not track’ settings in browsers, although some websites ignore or only partially abide by this. Also little known is that you can actually see some of those companies which are customising ads specifically for you by heading over to the AdChoices website and while there while not make your own choice of those you want (if any) targeting you.

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Does Big Data Change Everything?

Every where you look at the moment you see and hear about ‘Big Data’ and how its the next biggest thing to transform society and businesses. Initially I just took the term to mean just more data from more varied sources such as social media and doing the same sort of thing that is normally done with data. Of course anybody ahead of me on the curve, which I suspect is most people, will know that is really underestimating the value and worth of Big Data. However, the term has become so omnipresent that I thought it about time to start looking into what it actually is and how it is (allegedly) going to transform everything.

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