Big data

    By Centillien

    Large companies with a lot of data about consumers are combining their data with internet available information like tweets, facebook comments etc.. to see sentiment and to build profiles of people.

    Some of them are also working together to join these databases and even get better profiling information.

    The goal is to exactly know what people think about them, what they would like and how they react on certain things like new propositions, products or company behaviour.

    They are doing that for decades in the normal (offline) world but that is a lot harder since you can only measure behaviour based on experiments. 

    The good thing is that products will be more customer focussed and even be adapted to personal or group wishes. The scary thing is that you are being profiled day in day out to find out who you really are. Most of you have nothing to hide, but it is still a scary thought that a database knows more of your preferences than your own mother.


    Big data discussion


    So that hits the privacy issue and governments around the world are trying to prevent that from happening. But as regulators are mostly non technical, they miss the point. Take for instance the European cookie law, which is trying to prevent profiling and tries to protect our privacy but is totally ineffective from companies that don't want to be regulated. 

    I is quite easy to circumvent this policy and as you probably understand "I know that for a fact". I really have to add that Centillien is not doing that, but not because we can't, but simply because we don't want to.

    But other companies do and it is fully legal, they still gather the same information but just avoid using cookies. 

    Back to the topic ! Do we like it that companies are trying to get to know us as best as they are tracking our moves and profile us to built better products or do we need to draw a line here ?

    If we want that, someone needs to go and help those poor government regulators to draw up usefull legislation, that is not so easy to legally circumvent. Funny enough is that they trapped in the hole of technical details, without having any clue what is technically possible.




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