Big Data: Best Deal or Brain Drain?

The world is consumed by processing data. https://techwave.net/

It’s 2020, people.

1 in 4 of us are statistically shown to have at least one smart device in our home, often an Amazon Alexa or Google Nest- but we don’t often think about the actual cost of providing these devices the opportunity to listen in as we move around our home. When are we going to put our foot down and stop this constant harvesting of our personal lives?

I’ve concocted, in my opinion, a great line that lends itself well to the blissful ignorance we all engage in when we rationalize this:

[In 2020,]….consumers are now paying for products twice-over: we pay a chunk of money up front, willingly given; while pieces of our livelihood are constantly harvested, willfully ignored.

I plagiarized myself ha.

I’ve had my Amazon Alexa and Google Nest stuffed in a drawer for almost six months now. Every once in awhile, I find myself about ready to ask Alexa to add something to my grocery list- then remember she is locked up, a stagnant reminder of my meager attempts to limit my personal data being sold.

My efforts are likely in vain, but they provide me some comfort knowing I’ve taken action to help keep my personal information mine, and mine alone.

Knowing what I know now of the postcard-like effectiveness of mainstream email, I’ve been looking into a more secure email account through ProtonMail.com. Their encrypted email system is pretty cool, but I’m wary due to the current legislative efforts of congress to outlaw encryption and provide access to my information to anyone that wants it.

Big Data is a tool that can be used to better many of our lives and brighten our future, but until the world stops using it for monetary gain and forces false actors to use it for good- the unethical data collection and manipulation will continue.

And I don’t think that will lead to a future any of us want.

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