Archive for February, 2012

Data and Datascapes

So we enter the world of data, what is data… Data – Facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.

So why are we so touchy about data and our data trail, well to be honest, the data itself is nothing we should be concerned about it’s what happens when the companies convert it into information and use it, and they can do anything with that data as they’ve already made us agree to it, this is usual in the privacy policy which is a million words long in size 1 font, and we can’t use their software if we don’t agree to the privacy policy, so it becomes a bit of a catch 22 situation.

We should be worried about data mining, which sounds pretty harmless but it’s how these companies see us and asses what type of people we are, for instance we do our shopping in Tescos, the clubcard/loyalty scheme on offer allows them to find out what our general interests are and what we frequently purchase, so at the end of the month Tescos send us vouchers for specific products.

The problem with data mining comes from the issues with privacy where people find it as a way of intruding with their life by using on-line character traits, another problems lies the way that companies are now obtaining people data to store and sell them on databases, thus increasing the chances of  untrustworthy people gaining access to your data.

Datascaping is when data has been gathered and processed and finally presented in a visual manner using the helps graphs and maps etc, this then shows if certain activities have taken place.

http://www.percollate.com/FreeTrial

This website here helps data mining from twitter, and thus allows targeted ads.

https://openpaths.cc/

This website allows you to track your navigation and where you have been, namely because its fascinating to be able to track where you’ve been walking all day.

https://openpaths.cc/data/overview

Here is a map to show where all the people who have been using have walked to.

Its quite fascinating but ultimately quite worrying how easy it is for people to get hold of your information, what’s most worrying is half the time you don’t know what’s going on with YOUR data. Surely there should be an opt out method but alas we are too important a commodity, hence the completely ridiculous floatation value of Facebook which works out at roughly $100 billion dollars. Now that the money is going into public investors, there’s going to be outside influence to turn that data into larger profits so shareholders get larger dividends. At the end of the day data is big business and it’s only going to get worse, so what I’m trying to say is we just got to get used to it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/9054840/Facebook-IPO-Pressure-to-turn-personal-data-into-profit.html

 

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