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Be cautious when it comes to big data


Have you ever actually taken the time to read those terms and conditions that appear when you sign up for a new service? Probably not.

But who does? And why would you?

In today’s world we click OK to almost anything before our brains can even process what we’re looking at. We don’t waste time reading about what we’re giving permissions to because we know the law is on our side.

What if that changed?

Recently, the FBI made headlines after taking tech giant Apple to court over access to a smartphone. The FBI captured the iPhone of dead San Bernardino, California terrorism suspect Syed Rizwan Farook back in December 2015, but encryption technology prevented them from accessing its contents.

In the end, the FBI got access and the personal privacy, a basic human right, was tossed to the wind.

So what’s next? Do we disconnect? Maybe avoid using smartphones and anything with an Wi-Fi connection.

Short answer: No.

Data is everywhere. And with the emergence of the Internet, there has never been access to data like this before.

In 2015, big data was a new term to some, a buzz word to others. That’s quickly changing as more and more adopters come out of the woodwork. From the health care industry to customer-service, big data is here to stay.

According to Doug Hadden, FreeBalance’s Executive Vice President of Innovation, “2016 will be more of a definitive year for big data.”

Hadden hopes to see increased use of big data techniques for better public policy. In other words, more data-driven decisions and the use of open data.

With that being said, as governments move towards utilizing big data, building trust and confidence must be a priority. This won’t be easy, but definitely important for any organization looking to capture the benefits of the digital age.

And how are they going to build this confidence? Transparency. Well, at least that’s a start.

Keeping citizens and/or customers informed of what you plan to do with their data not only helps ease the transition, but allows individuals to make educated decisions.

Telecom company Telefonica describes it perfectly, “an informed public means that individuals can intelligently decide how open they want to be with their data, and where they want to live on the spectrum from data hermit to digital extrovert.”

So don’t throw away that smartphone just yet. However, be aware because the world is changing and until both the public and private sectors iron out all the wrinkles while making the transition to a digital and data driven world, we must think, before we click.

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Michael Sutherland-Shaw

Michael Sutherland-Shaw

Marketing Communications Specialist at FreeBalance
Michael works in the marketing and communications department following a career in journalism. Michael is currently learning Ruby on Rails and loves discovering new music.

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