“Big data is people” by Rebecca Lemov
We live in the ‘petabyte era’ defined by the rapid generation of massive amounts of data. It is important to keep in mind that the source of all this new data is in fact us. The so-called ‘big data’ that experts and companies use on a daily basis for their ads, research and strategies is generated by our everyday activities, and can be traced back to almost everything that we do. In our modern technological world, those with the ‘know-how’ can track just about every move that we make through our phones, bank cards, our cars, and even the pages that we scroll through on social media without clicking. All of these leave a trail, our digital fingerprint.
Big data is not just made up of people; it influences us in many ways too. The data that companies collect is used to suggest map routes, to customize the ads that you see online and to suggest events that they know will catch your attention.
As the social sciences are developing, information previously deemed ‘off limits’ in personal studies has become fair game, and the subjects of this research – people like us - need not even be aware of their involvement as we move forward in this ever-changing world of data and technology.
Read Lemov’s article below for more information on how exactly your routine day-to-day activities are generating data, and just how important it is for you to know this.