In the last article when we discussed on how you can protect yourself from “Scam phone calls“, in that we discussed how these scammers get their hands on your contact details. In that we mentioned how “Big data” technology is responsible for this, however, due to the context of the topic, i couldn’t dive myself into the deep explanation.
So here in this article, we discuss this technology in detail, how it works and how this technology is killing the privacy of the entire humanity itself.
What is Big data?
It is nothing but a huge chunk of data, this chunk of data includes both structured and unstructured data. As of now on the internet, there are terabytes of data or even more, which maybe impossible to gather, maintain or manipulate. However, with well structured and formatted tools, we can gather, study and analyze the data.
This huge chunk can be generated by any organization as long as it gathers information, it doesn’t matter what kind of information, but as long as that information can fulfill their requirements that data can be consider as valid data.
Gathering and use of data explained
This technology first came into existence right after “internet” was invented. It was used in the form of analytics to see how many people were using internet. That kind of analytics helped internet to become even more optimized technology.
When Google came, at first, it only worked on the basis of “keyword priority” but that was not good enough, that’s because as the number of people using the search engine was increasing, so were the keywords and the inaccuracy of results.
Google needed something through which they could analyze what people want so they can provide even accurate search results and in return they can optimize their search engine even more.
So they started gathering analytics and came up with varieties of graph based on what people are searching, what they like and so on. Later on, parameters like age, gender, country, state, city were added to make that gathered data even more detailed and optimize.
As a result, Google is now able to provide almost accurate results to people.
Why almost? because its still not perfect, that’s why Google is now using the power of Artificial Intelligence to make things work right.
Now, Google is not the only user of this technology, even small companies and e-commerce companies and social networking companies like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter uses this technology.
How this technology works?
To understand this let’s take an example of e-commerce company website. Suppose there is a website for selling various kind of products (kinda like a online wholesale mart), then we would see various people buying various kinds of products.
Now a company that is running this e-commerce website will have to keep the track of sales, the overall popularity of products, which product is selling more and so on..
This entire data is gathered by a web crawler script which has just one job and that is to keep the track of each and every detail and gather information.
That detail and information will even include personal information of customers (what you like, what you do not like, your email, your social network accounts etc.) so that company will offer products to the customers according to their taste.
All these kind of information, which is gathered is gathered in the matter of seconds and it will keep gathering and will maintain a database. So later the company can see the stats and improvise themselves to further optimize the services.
The heavy responsibility!!
First and foremost, always keep in mind that, there is nothing like “Good technology” or “Bad technology“.
Its how you use that technology makes it Good or Bad, When you gather data about your customers to optimize your service and serve them even well, its like just gathering feedback that depends on your customer’s taste without asking them.
But since its helping them and not doing any harm, we can consider it as a good way to optimize the business.
However, when that data get leaked to other companies without their consent, intentionally or unintentionally, then that can be considered as a problem and a biggest threat to humanity and our privacy. You must have heard that famous dialogue from the Spiderman movie “With great powers comes great responsibility“.
So when a company uses technology like this that has every information about people (that includes even personal information) has a responsibility to keep that data secure.
Unfortunately, no matter how cutting edge technology and methods are used for keeping that data secure, someone will always find a loophole and will manage to leak that data. Intentionally leaking the data to other companies is not the only reason for why the privacy is affected.
unintentional leaks resulted because of hacking the databases of these companies is also one of the main reason.
Recently Facebook came under the allegations because of gathering personal information, but if you think properly, that’s how these companies work.
There they will always mention and describe how they are using your data. Now once you have understood the responsibility that comes with the usage of this kind of technology let’s us now see how this technology is killing the privacy.
How privacy is destroyed?
Companies that work on this technology will provide you guidelines to keep you and your data secure (Just like how Google and Facebook) however, as i mentioned earlier, the data may get leaked through various reasons.
Now the leaked data is shared between many third-party services without your consent, sometimes you don’t even need to leak the data to get shared, many third-party applications, website and tools will ask you for the permission to access the personal data through Facebook or your phone itself.
Now in this case we have to choose whether we want the third-party tool to access that personal data or not, but, unfortunately, we choose that option carelessly and that’s how we dig the grave of our own privacy. On one hand we see our data getting leaked without our consent and on the other hand those companies who are asking for consent or permissions we overlook that and choose that option carelessly.
In this way, the contact details get shared with scammers, hackers and many more unwanted people.
Just like Aritificial Intelligence, Big Data too is a volatile technology too, despite we are compelled to deal with such kind of technology because the world is getting driven by data shared by people like us and companies, organizations consciously and unconsciously and hence as a result, we see privacy being affected and destroyed.
This covers everything over big data technology, if you have any doubts or any views feel free to mention in the comment section below, we are open to questions and criticisms and we will try to answer all that to the best of our abilities.