Big Challenges for Big-Data in Cities

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Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
10/9/2013 2:09:29 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Kicking us off
The NSA issue was covered pretty widely here by the media, but yes it's died down. But regarding protests and the like, I do think it's a solid mix between apathy and a lack of understanding. Both of these factors are absolutely beneficial for Internet and marketing companies.

10/9/2013 2:06:20 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Kicking us off
Well, there wasn't a great deal of anger or upset over here, and a lot of any anger there was has quelled. We aren't seeing mass protests or wall-to-wall media outrage. Is this because people don't understand? Or because they do understand and don't really care?

And as for data being sold, I'm not saying that people know exactly how their data is being sold, but I expect that most people using the internet know that data about them is being sold.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
10/9/2013 1:55:01 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Kicking us off
Rich, re: "We may not like companies or governments using our data, but how often does it make us really angry?"

People tend to get more angry about the government using their data, I think. I mean, look at all of the upset caused by the revelations about the NSA.

I'm not sure I agree that people are really aware of how their data is being sold. I think lots of people do believe they have a degree of privacy online, and they really don't. I think it would freak people out if they were presented with a detailed explanation of exactly how every "like" and status update and check-in and search is being used to create a detailed profile about them that earns companies a good chunk of change.

On your other point, did you feel your questions were answered during the chat today?

10/9/2013 4:51:40 AM
User Rank Staff
Kicking us off
There are some interesting points here Nicole, although I'm not sure I agree with all of what these speakers said. There are two points I take issue with the most.

The first is where Chris Corcoran said that he thinks "most people would be very surprised to know private companies are selling their demographic information to marketing companies all over the US". Really? I don't think people would be that surprised at all. I know that data about me is being bought and sold by private companies. This is why I have a spam filter on my email and why I use my old mobile phone number on most online forms. We may not like companies or governments using our data, but how often does it make us really angry?

And the second is Anthony Townsend's point about the data being used by people with self-interest in mind rather than the public interest. I'm not sure I understand his point. Is he talking about someone using the data to blackmail others? Or is he talking about a company using the data to help develop products and services that could make that company money? I'd clearly have a problem with the former, but not so much with the latter. Perhaps I can ask him later on our live digital audio show.

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