Most of the valuable companies by the market are built on a foundation of linking data to human beings; which works on the mechanism of different ways of looking at data. For example, what google and facebook do! They find out as much as they can about the user’s activities, their interests and their social network. Amazon mainly works on consumer behaviour. Alibaba works as a digital wallet for millions of Chinese, and they widely know their consumer base through credit scores.
Every other sector has followed the trail of tech companies. Consumer brands collect data of their customers to advertise products and services according to the need and requirements of the consumers. Government is looking very carefully into these firms the ways they gather information and trying to replicate them in their systems.
The data is extremely valuable, and now it’s well understood by individuals because it can be leaked, hacked and stolen for different purposes. The year 2018 for facebook was alarming it faces multiple breaches and reputational damage. There is a big list of some reputable companies which met data breaches: Delta, Google, Marriot, British Airways, Best Buy, Cathay Pacific and Sears. Such events of data breaches have given the awareness to the people, and now they have started taking notice of all the data they are providing to different companies.
The impact of this change forced the users to change their behaviour online though they boycotted snooping tech terms or exercise the rights which they possess. Because managing your data is a time-consuming process, even for those who know how they can protect their data. Now individuals are demanding accountability from those who are holding their data.
But when the data is used at the state level, it poses a much greater threat. Different algorithms are able to recognise patterns and behaviours or even their opinions. Facebook used the data to manipulate the emotions in 2012. Russia is also blamed for influencing the American presidential election by using data.
Data or you?
Data protection regulations and new privacy laws are demeaning the use of algorithms and different data usability techniques to protect the rights of data subjects. But what you have to understand is it’s you who is important not the data.