Big Data, Big Problems? Responsible Data Management in 2019

Lance Walter

If 2018 taught us one thing about data collection, it would be the existence of a distinct and profound line between companies using data for good and those whose business model relies on its exploitation. As Facebook gears up to pay a multi-billion dollar fine to the FTC as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s time we as an industry evaluate how we handle data.

The recent NewVantage Partners survey found that businesses are ramping up investment in big data and analytics initiatives. In fact, 55% of firms surveyed indicated they would be investing more than $50M in 2019. At the same time, we’ve seen countless examples where companies have gathered more consumer data through opaque and ethically murky ways. Most recently, Google has come under fire for its Screenwise Meter app which allowed the company to monitor and analyze user traffic and data through a VPN. The app has since been disabled on Apple iOS for violating privacy rules but has put a well-earned spotlight on VPN privacy issues. What’s more, now the news is out that Google never disclosed that its Nest Secure in-home solution included a microphone that according to Google “was never supposed to be a secret,” and yet somehow was.

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