Big Data: Three Big Brother Reminders

While I have talked a lot about big data through this blog it is really important to remember that our, phones, iPads, Fitbits, and all computers are listening devices.  Now even your car’s navigational equipment and black box can tell the latest details of your driving skills—good and bad.

So below are three things that you need to remember.

  1. You agreed to it.  We all want free things and unfortunately all those free things come with the cost of your privacy.  Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and many other free email services are clearly reading our email.  In this Wired magazine article “Forget the NSA. Tech Companies May Be Reading Your Email Too” the Terms and Conditions agreement that you easily ignore and click through authorizes these companies to read your emails.  I am reminded about the outrageous and obscene South Park “Humancentipad” episode about signing without reading the Terms and Conditions agreement. If you agreed to it then you approved it.
  2. You are benefitting from it.  While you may not like your privacy violated, exchanging emails, “Liking” things, or just clicking your way through the various web pages says a lot about your interests.  Marketing companies and every other company are fighting over winning your purchasing power, and they are using every opportunity to give you web ads, spam email offerings, and Groupon-like incentives to buy from them.  The competition is only beginning as those who don’t share and collaborate, who believe in being transparent, are the ones that won’t benefit from all the data that is collected about them.  I believe the more data marketers or other companies we have the better, because we will then get what we think we want.  Unfortunately it may not be the best thing we need.
  3. You need to get over it.  Since all the marketing and technology companies are collecting and selling all the data brought to us through our new gadgets, we just need to get over our privacy concerns.  As I wrote last year, Big Data: 3 Reasons to Get Over It!, the data is being collected by everyone, is available to all who know where to look for it, and collectors are analyzing every aspect of our lives.

Fighting city hall is difficult, but fighting privacy concerns goes against all the technology advantages and conveniences. Totally protecting your privacy is almost impossible unless you want to get off the grid completely.   Get over it, enjoy the technology conveniences and you might get an extra email marketing a product you actually need.


Dave Beulke is a system strategist, application architect, and performance expert specializing in Big Data, data warehouses, and high performance internet business solutions. He is an IBM Gold Consultant, Information Champion, and President of DAMA-NCR, former President of International DB2 User Group, and frequent speaker at national and international conferences. His architectures, designs, and performance tuning techniques help organization better leverage their information assets, saving millions in processing costs.

Sign up for the IDUG DB2 Technical Conference in Phoenix, Arizona this May 12-16th.
•    Sign up for dinner with me during the IDUG Dine Around Dinner Thursday night at IDUG.
•    Also plan on attending my presentation 1221-F04 “Big Data Disaster Recovery Performance,” Tuesday 4:30 at the IDUG conference in Phoenix.

The IDUG European conference is still accepting presentation abstracts to be potentially picked for the IDUG EU conference in Prague, Czech Republic November 9-14th.

For more details on any of these items go to

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