Big data is a threat to privacy and freedom

The trend of increased surveillance and data collection by both government and private entities has continued unabated in recent years, despite significant public outcry and calls for more privacy protections. One of the key drivers of this continued expansion of surveillance has been the rise of big data.

What is big data? Big data is a term used to describe the extremely large data sets that are now being generated by both individuals and organizations. These data sets can include everything from an individual’s web browsing history and social media interactions to the GPS locations of a fleet of vehicles.

What has made big data so valuable is the ability to quickly process and analyze it to extract useful information. For example, a retail company might use big data to track the shopping habits of its customers and then use that information to stock its shelves more effectively or target its advertising.

While there are clearly some benefits to using big data, there are also a number of potential risks, particularly when it comes to privacy and freedom.

One of the biggest concerns is that the use of big data can lead to a form of mass surveillance, where individuals are tracked and monitored on a large scale without their knowledge or consent. This could be done by government agencies or private companies and it could have a profound impact on people’s privacy and freedom.

Another concern is that the use of big data could be used to unfairly target and discriminate against certain groups of people. For example, if a government agency was using big data to track the movements of people, they could use that information to target certain groups for surveillance or other actions.

Finally, there is a risk that the use of big data could lead to a loss of control over personal information. As more and more data is collected, it becomes increasingly difficult for individuals to keep track of who has access to their information and how it is being used. This could have serious implications for both privacy and freedom.

While the use of big data can have some benefits, the potential risks are significant and should not be ignored. Privacy and freedom are fundamental rights that must be protected.

Article written by Franck Jr. Walter
contact me at: franck [at]