Is Big Data Scary for Most People?

This is a post about Big Data, and our inevitable near future.


Is Big Data Scary for Most People?

This is a post about Big Data, and our inevitable near future.

Storified by Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins · Tue, Aug 14 2012 16:54:20

I’ve been covering the Big Data movement since before we called it that over at SiliconANGLE. It’s interesting to see the veil of realization start to dawn on the general public as they realize that Big Data isn’t science fiction, but reality.
How Big Data Became So Big – UnboxedFirst, here are a few, well, data points: Big Data was a featured topic this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with…
I had a conversation on Facebook earlier today with some folks that might be considered social media gurus, but for whatever reason still seemed essentially Luddite, and fear the privacy implications of a Big Data world.
Sun on Privacy: ‘Get Over It’The chief executive officer of Sun Microsystems said Monday that consumer privacy issues are a "red herring." "You have zero privacy anyw…
The Cube – EMCworld 2012 – Scott McNealysiliconangle
Scott McNealy said (a long time ago): “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.” When he said this in 1999, it was shocking. Over a decade later, I’m surprised by folks who haven’t adopted his viewpoint.
There will be a schism, I fear, in society. On one side, there will be people who have adopted and make use of every advantage technology has to offer. On the other side, there will be those who are afraid of living in a transparent world, and shun technology. I’m increasingly convinced that the future will offer no middle ground. The nature of humanity will be fundamentally changed.
Man Thrown Out Of McDonald’s Because Of Wearable Computerdenieseclariz
I made these points to the aforementioned group of social media gurus on Facebook, and was met with a chorus of “no ways!” and “I’ll just jam all the data sources.” 
At some point – a point I believe to be in the next three or four years – data-jamming will be impossible, because the number of sensor points and ways of crunching unstructured data will have grown past the point of return. It won’t be about virtual clicks, it’ll be about real life actions. You’ll have to live under a literal rock to have no data gathered about you; a life choice few will want to make.
One guru explained to me that “it’s not about being afraid of living in a transparent world or being resistant to technology, it’s about trusting those that have an obnoxious amount of data on you. I don’t trust government, I don’t trust corporations & I refuse to be reduced to an algorithm,” as if she had a choice as to whether she’d be reduced to an algorithm or not. She went on to explain that she had ditched her microwave years ago because it tipped the balance of her life against what she deemed healthy.
The problem, particularly for folks like her, is that regardless of how far she opts-in to a fully integrated Big Data collective, her sense of privacy will still be violated (though perhaps her ignorance of the fact will be her bliss?). Should she decide to opt-in, though, she could still benefit from the voluntary sharing of information and consumption of public information.
Project Glass: Live Demo At Google I/Ogoogledevelopers
Based on the information almost all of us share digitally on social networks coupled with a fully enabled wearable HUD like Google Glass, when you walk up up to me in a crowded room, I’d automatically be able to know certain things about you just by polling publicly available databases based on your social media footprint, triggered by simply your face. You likely have some kind of profile on a major network, and with the limited information you share with friends of friends on Facebook, I can poll dozens of other services you are a part of and find out more information about you than you’re probably comfortable with, from the sounds of it. I haven’t seen a better visualization of what this would look like than a recent short film we covered at SiliconANGLE called “Sight.”
Where We Can Go With Augmented Reality: The Spartan Gamified World Revisited in SIGHT | SiliconANGLEWith Google Glasses and other potential competing products coming into the limelight, the technological consciousness is going to slowly …
Sight (2012) [Short Film HD 720p]axonematv
But what I described above? That’s just what’s available today. Soon, every appliance in your house (from your light switches to your refrigerator) will be producing data that will be cataloged by various companies you’re forced to deal with through the natural course of living in a post-industrial nation (electric, repair, manufacturer). In some cases, they’ll provide you with some degree of creature comfort or benefit. In other cases, they’ll be giving you a competitive advantage professionally or a clear economic benefit financially. Again, this is inevitable. The data will be collected, regardless of whether you opt-in or not.
Social Network Identity Mapping API data set | InfochimpsThis data set is available with an Infochimps Platform Solution. For availability inquiries, click the Learn More button to the right. Fl…
The best thing about the transparent society isn’t that big corporations profit from your data (although, yes, that does and will continue to go on), but it’s the democratization of big data. With Google Glass, you and I will be able to make use of publicly available data in real time. All these data stores are available for pennies, most of the time. We’re not in an age where the average person knows how to access the information they need to better enable their life, but we’re not far away.

As I said earlier, there will be two types of people in this world – those that shy away from the benefits and the detriments of this new society, and those that embrace it. It’s not a perfect world, and it may not necessarily be a better world. It is, however and inevitably, the world we’ll all live in. Progress stops for no one (See: Law of Accelerating Returns).

The Law of Accelerating Returns | KurzweilAIMar 7, 2001 … An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense i…
We’re at the knee of the curve; we’re facing a fundamental shift in the nature of humanity. Whether or not we choose to accept that is inconsequential to the outcome of anything other than how well we’ll fit into this new world.

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