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The Collection Of “Big Data;” A Problem Or Convenience?

1132 words - 5 pages

One of the biggest concerns in the United States of America today is privacy. For its citizens, this concern is due mostly in part to new developments in technology and big data collection. Yes, this technology and data collection is beneficial for American citizens and is a step in the right direction for humankind, but to what extent? The CQ Researcher article titled, “Big Data and Privacy” by Tom Price answers just that question. More specifically, a monumental factor for technological advancement this article explains is the use of personal information by the producers of new technology and the collection of big data in this day in age. What makes this debate on the violation of privacy through the use personal information by businesses, as well as, the general population, is that big data collection is the staple of technological advancement and serves as a convenience for Americans. Although big data collection and technology serves as an extreme benefit in relation to convenience and societal advancement for those who use and consume it, how far will scientists, researchers, businesses, and the government push before it becomes a violation our privacy as citizens of the United States of America?
As defined by the magazine, CQ Researcher, big data is the collection and analysis of enormous amounts of information by supercomputers (CQ Researcher, 1). This collection and analysis has led to many great feats in the fields physics, medicine, social science, business, and crime. Some of the biggest milestones of big data collection in its beginning stages have come from the field of science and research. More specifically, Peter Higgs of Scotland's University of Edinbourgh and Francois Englert of Belgium's Free University of Brussels have won Nobel Prizes for the theory they published nearly a half-century ago, but it was not confirmed until last March. Furthermore, the theory states that matter obtains Mass from an unknown energy (CQ Researcher, 911). Higgs then suggested that the energy is composed of an undiscovered subatomic particle, which is now known as the Higgs boson. In order to confirm this theory by Higgs and Englert, scientists needed to find the subatomic particle; and eventually they did. This theory was confirmed due mostly in part to the collection of big data; which can be seen as a huge benefit for citizens who are in favor of it.
The problem with the emergence of big data in today's society also stems from the National Security Agency (NSA) and its potential to decimate the privacy of individuals. As a matter of fact, the National Security Agency has recently revealed that they have collected copious amounts of personal information of Americans and others people around the world (CQ Researcher, 2). For humanities scholars, embracing big data has become apparent. This apparent utilization of big data by humanities scholars and historians offers a new and enlightened perspective on historical...

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