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Importance Of Big Data Essay

2011 words - 9 pages

The internet has become an integrated part of the lives of many people in current society. People depend on online services for our basic daily activities: social networking, online shopping, business, personal devices and communication. The reliance on digital appliances creates a large amount of personal information and data, which can be utilized for many difference purposes by “Big Data”. The exponential growth in the volume, variety and velocity of data in our digital universe, or simply “Big Data” (Crawford and Boyd, 2011), poses many threats and opportunities to individuals and groups around the globe. Diverse groups of people argue over the potential benefits and challenges, ...view middle of the document...

According to a recent article, consumer apprehensions over data include the increase of databases, volume of collected personal data, the control of private information and how information is collected and utilized in our digital universe (Wu & Huang et al., 2012). More than 70% of the digital universe is generated by individuals (Gantz and Reinsel, 2010) - data collection in electronic communications, internet tracking and location information – allowing large amounts of data to be generated by the second. As the one of the most popular internet website and search engines, Google could potentially be a major source of user information. With over one trillion URLs in Google’s index and almost 6 billion Google searches average occurred every single day in 2013 (Google Statistics Brain, 2014), information about our interests to be digitally captured, easily analysed and then stored. Search history, tracking cookies and GPS signals allow Google to track online behaviour, demographics and specific location information on individuals using the search engine (Google Privacy Policy, 2014):
“Google may collect information about the services that you use and how you use them… Google processes personal information on our servers in many countries around the world. We may process your personal information on a server located outside the country where you live.”
This information could possibly be confidential and personal information, possibly at risk of being exploited by big marketing companies and the government for behavioural targeting. Behavioral targeting involves two types of activities: following users’ actions and then tailoring advertisements for the users based on those actions (Turow, King, Hoofnagle, Bleakley & Hennesy, 2009). The dependence on the digital world potentially allows large companies to access stored personal information and individuals would have no agency to control the access of that information. In theory, behavioural marketing should benefit all parties involved in the process: the publisher, the advertiser and the consumer (Howell, 2010). For example, by analyzing the data and using predictive patterns, Target was able to successfully calculate the possibility of pregnancy of a teenage girl. More importantly, Target could also estimate her due date to within a small window and timed coupons could be sent to very specific stages of her pregnancy (Dunhigg, 2012). However, in the study conducted by U.C.Berkeley, 66% of people surveyed said they did not want marketers to tailor advertisements to their interests (Turow, King, Hoofnagle, Bleakley & Hennesy, 2009). When informed of the methods that marketers gather data about people in order to tailor ads, even higher percentages—between 73% and 86% - said they would not want such advertising. Many factors contribute to a consumer’s willingness to provide personal information in a database-driven marketing relationship: including the consumer’s perceived risk, credibility,...

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