Information technology departments across the world have been collecting copious amounts of operational data in an effort to analyze and improve how the company works, but there are some data protection concerns that go with this volume-based approach, according to a recent analysis by Ovum.
“Unfortunately, in the gold rush that is big data, taking the supply of ‘little data’ – personal data – for granted seems to be an accident waiting to happen,” said Mark Little, principal analyst at Ovum. “However, consumers are being empowered with new tools and services to monitor, control, and secure their personal data as never before, and it seems they increasingly have the motivation to use them.”
Grant Gross wrote on PC World that advertising networks and other companies are depending on big data to help them forge deeper relationships with current and prospective customers. Little said users are starting to become more guarded with regard to their information online. Numbers from the Ovum report, which surveyed 11,000 people across 11 countries, found that 68 percent would use a do-not-track feature if they could, while just 14 percent believe Internet companies are completely transparent in their data handling practices.
Gross said the results of this survey may mean trouble for online business models in the future, as companies are starting to rely on targeted data for behavioral advertising. According to Little, companies are going to need to “squeeze between a hardening consumer attitude and tighter regulation.”
Why users are wary about big data
Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, told PC World that there are tens of thousands of individuals that could have their privacy complicated by big data. If any company has collected their sensitive information experiences a breach, the user’s data security could be at a severe risk. Many consumers are starting to even feel exploited by big data, with Chester said many who put their information into an app have the feeling of “what am I getting out of this?”
There could be more of a move toward customers controlling their own data, but Little said there shouldn’t be a change by Internet companies quite yet, as he believes the process of change will be a slow one. Businesses should keep riding on consumer acceptance for now, Little said, but be aware that there are many who want to see change and customers who want more control over their own data security.
Consumerization News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro.