Big data is helping transform the economic landscape.
“Big data is the ability of society to harness information in novel ways to produce useful insights or goods or services of significant value (Cukier & Mayer-Schonberger, 2013).” In Big Data, National Bestseller, written by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier, the authors exemplify the vast progress that big data has made in the past few decades, noting instances of how big data has transformed the world (Cukier & Mayer-Schonberger, 2013).
Computer science student, Oren Etzioni, was able to build a system that could find out a good ticket price for a flight online, comparing the various prices of flights throughout the web. Etzioni’s “Project Hamlet,” was able to scrape information from a travel website, and make predictions based on algorithmic logic, about the cost of these tickets in the upcoming weeks to save consumer’s and companies, time and money. Project Hamlet, later became Farecast, and was eventually bought out my Microsoft, realizing the potential this big data project had, paired with the constantly evolving ability of new databases, and programming languages to store and deliver vast amounts of information (Cuker & Mayer-Schonberger, 2013).
Many modern tech-savvy companies, including Aponia Data’s partners, use computer systems and software built using big data.
Technologies like Salesforce have embedded Analytics tools that enable Salesforce employees to garner invaluable insights of consumer’s online spending behavior, which transforms the way that Salesforce team members interact with these consumers (2015, “Salesforce Transforms Big Data into Customer Success”). But with so much of consumer behavior occurring online, privacy is a valid concern for consumers (Cuker & Mayer-Schonberger, 2013).
Big data has put consumer’s at a vulnerable position. Every day, thousands of users log into their computers, unaware that, “behind the scenes,” big data systems are working to unify consumer’s spending and social media behavior to come to predictive conclusions about how their users spend their money (Lynch, 2017). While the fourth amendment states that
“Individuals have freedom to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized (U.S. Const. amend. IV),”
there is sadly no guarantee of the security of one’s personal information.
While people would like to believe that their transactions of information on the web are like a two-way street where giving information means gaining some benefit, important information is permanently stored in the internet, lost in the world-wide vortex (OmerTene & Polonetsky, Jules, 2013). It is a strange time for society, and visiting one’s favorite store online means that tommorow the same user will be bombarded with ten to twelve ads from that store for the items that the user is contemplating buying. Big data has the ability to decipher a user’s shopping interests and exploit the user.
Big data is only giving the user suggestions. But what is scary is that user’s searches and past history, or bad times they may have had online are documented by big data and big data can appear like a social nightmare at any time, as a tacky advertisements. As big data becomes integrated into companies that control user search, like Google, user’s lose control over themselves and are easily victimized by these big search dogs, although what they are doing is perfectly sane and legal, and, well, lucrative as the major tech giants help push the economy into sunlight after years of economic recession (Peterson, 2017).
Most financially sound Americans would say that big data is great, and it’s concerns are minor, because after years of sales people spending hours of leg work to find out what user’s really want, big data is tearing down the ropes, and allowing a major increase in the overall spending of American dollars. In the years to come it is clear to see that big data is going to help the American economy succeed.
Lynch, Jennifer. (2017, August 2). Symposium: Will the Fourth Amendment Protect 21st-century data? The court confronts the third-party doctrine. Retrieved from http://www.scotusblog.com/2017/08/symposium-will-fourth-amendment-protect-21st-century-data-court-confronts-third-party-doctrine/
Mayer-Schonberger, V. & Cukier, K. (2013). Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think. Boston: Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
OmerTene & Polonetsky, Jules. (2013). Big Data for All: Privacy and User Control in the Age of Analytics. Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property, 11(5). Retrieved from http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1191&context=njtip
Peterson, Becky. (2017, September 16). With Trump’s election and arguments over neo-Nazi websites, the tech industry consensus against internet regulation is crumbling. Business Insider. Retrieved from
(2007). ACLU’s Top Lobbyist Urges Congress To Protect Freedom of Information Act, Says Government Transparency Vital To American Democracy. Retrieved from https://www.aclu.org/news/aclus-top-lobbyist-urges-congress-protect-freedom-information-act-says-government-transparency?redirect=cpredirect/28365
(2015, May 28). Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud. PRNewswire. Retrieved from
(n.d.). The United States Bill of Rights: First Amendments to the Constitution. Retrieved from https://www.aclu.org/united-states-bill-rights-first-10-amendments-constitution#firstamendment