“Big Data” Good or Bad?

“Big Data” is inherently neither good nor bad. It is simply a tool. Imagine for example that the whole idea of “Big Data” in the embodiment of a hammer. Now hammers are intended to be use to be build things. They are used to aid people in the construction of any toy car or magnificent skyscraper. Hammers are used everyday to make life simpler for those who do not posses steel fists. However, as anyone can imagine hammers can be used for in negative ways. Ways that can be destructive and negative to society as whole.

Big Data is helpful tool that should be embraced by society despite its negatives. Even though its resources are shared throughout the world, these resources help save lives and can curb dangers in society. Big Data helps get news across the globe in a way that no other process can. The most important use for this “Big Data” can arguable be said to that it expedites the transfer and acquisition of data. In a world the size of this one, speed can only help. The most obvious example from this comes straight from the text. The H1N1 scare was acclaimed to be a 2nd spanish flu, however, it was put down rather swiftly and efficiently thanks to the help of Google. Google’s ability to amass terabytes of data provided the resources that allowed the CDC to quickly and efficiently terminate the further spreading of this new influenza.

One should always keep in mind that there are those who use “Big Data” for selfish purposes. This is has always been the case with new technologies in the past and will always be a problem in the future. It is incredibly difficult to curd human nature but with enough effort it is possible to curb it to a reasonable level. Since these selfish people can be controlled “Big Data” should be seen as a tool for constructive purposes.

7 thoughts on ““Big Data” Good or Bad?”

  1. Just expanding on your hammer analogy, I would not exactly say that “big data” is neither good or bad. I would say that there are negatives and positives to “big data” and both sides could be fiercely argued. The main negative that people complain about is privacy; many people believe that the data that we generate belongs to us and therefore we should be able to have complete control over it. What we see in the world right now is the lack of this sense of privacy and everybody just sends all their data to server farms belonging to a variety of companies. Yes “big data” can be used to build things just like hammers but if you take a microscope to the hammer, you will be able to find a whole wealth of information that people may or may not want others to have. That being said, not everybody is going to be able to have access to the data (or the microscope) and not everybody with a microscope is going to take a close enough look at the hammer to analyze an individual, but if they wanted to, they COULD, and that is where the problem of big data lies.

  2. I completely agree with you about how big data will eventually be exploited. However, I also agree that the benefits out way the risks. My belief is that data that does not directly affect the people who are unknowingly or knowingly creating it is fine such as the example you gave where Google used the stored searches to predict flu outbreaks. But when it comes to life logs and extremely personal information being available on a network for anyone to come and take you have a problem

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed your hammer metaphor. It accurately displayed the duplicity of “Big Data” and how it can affect society. One of my biggest fears with the Internet is how easily accessible my information is, so I am also very wary of those who will use the Internet with ill intentions.

  4. True, that this “Big Data” is extremely useful and convenient tool. This technology has truly revolutionized the method of communication, but we cannot neglect the risk behind it. Driven by its convenience, many people are not really giving their attention to its backfiring effects, such as personal information disclosure. We should be more careful about keeping our records and using Internet services.

  5. I definitely agree with you. The hammer metaphor does an excellent job describing just what we are dealing with here. Big data truly is just a tool to be used, like a hammer. What each and every one of us do with that tool really is up to us. The tool is indifferent to the purposes of its master, it only knows the function it was created for.

  6. Absolutely love the hammer metaphor by the way. I’d like to focus more on the negative aspect of it though. The way Big Data was used to help solve the H1N1 crisis was kind of amazing to me, but I feel like the ease of access to all this Big Data could cause some extremely large problems. If you’ve seen the movie “Eagle Eye” or, more recently, “Transcendence,” you could see the threats of what could possibly happen. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those people that is paranoid about someone always watching me at all times or is with all my being scared of some worldwide hacking scenario, but there is still always that threat there. And just imagine the capabilities and the raw power an individual or a group of people would have with complete control over all the Big Data in the world.

  7. Thank you guys, I think that it is important to show both sides of the coin so to say. I think that there is a lot negatives to all things but it doesn’t justify removing them from the table. To Jeff7789, I think that those people who don’t want their information to be used could in fact be damage society as a whole. Using your analogy if we take out all the little microscopic pieces of information that people don’t want to be there then it will ruin the integrity of the hammer and that with holes in it will become useless. We already tried a world that was lacked information and it speediness that time was the past and look what the past turned into… today where we have all this information speedily and on a moments notice.

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