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How Big Data is Beginning to Control our Lives- Final Paper

James Darling

STS Final Paper

Final Draft

Professor Fleming

May 18th, 2018

                                                               How Big Data is Beginning to Control our Lives

               What if there was a way to track a person’s internet searches, online purchases, facebook profiles, relationships etc. all by the collection of data? Well, that is completely possible, with the credit going towards big data. Big data is essentially the gathering of large sums of data points which then helps in analyzing just about everything a person searches or clicks on the internet. The way our society has used and is advancing in using big data has skyrocketed. Some common uses are in enhancing products, analyzing human tendencies and behavior, and looking for patterns and correlations in people’s data. While big data provides so much good for many companies, it also tests our privacy of something so simple as searching for something on Google. The first person to expose those people, more specifically the government and law enforcement, was Edward Snowden in 2013. Snowden, working for the NSA, realized the wrong in what they were doing which led him to releasing a high number of classified documents about the dark side of big data (Biography.com). That leads to the discussion of the 4th amendment and how, mainly, our countries law enforcement are finding loopholes in this constitutional amendment to further break into our citizens’ private matters, and big data does not exactly help that (Joh). While law enforcement may use data to further find out more on criminals, almost every big player in the online industry, whether it be social media or specific product purchasing, is using our private searches to find out more about us. A common person may think that if they are searching things online in the comfort of their own home that no one is watching, but it quite the contrary. While these companies most likely are not sitting on the other side of the screen tracking your every search, your data is still there and they can find it. It may be hard to believe that friendly names such as Google or Facebook are tracking us, much less using our data for their benefit, but they are, that is how they survive. In fact, most companies will tell you quite clearly if you scroll through there privacy policy, which many, including myself, tend not to do. In a portion of Facebook’s privacy policy they describe what they obtain from their users, “We collect the content and other information you provide when you use our Services, including when you sign up for an account, create or share, and message or communicate with others. This can include information in or about the content you provide, such as the location of a photo or the date a file was created.” (Facebook: Data Policy). The amount of data these companies are taking in is enormous and only increasing, and just because they make it seem friendly or inviting in their privacy policy, we do not know what goes on inside of these companies. The average american spends about 168 hours a week looking at their technological devices (Howard), because of this there is a plethora of data out in the world that is being used by companies, industries, and the government to further enhance our society, although their constant surveillance could be a risk of breaching our rights to privacy. Continue reading

Big Data is Everywhere

Topic:

How big data has changed the way we live our everyday lives

 

Critical Questions:

 

Who are the people taking in and analyzing this data? And what are they doing with it?

 

Is the collecting of big data from big industries a breach on our privacy?

 

How have companies utilized big data from their customers to format the overall production of their products?

 

Is government surveillance of our data against our privacy rights? Continue reading

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