​Today, Big Data gives us unprecedented insights and opportunities across all industries from healthcare to financial to manufacturing and more. But, it also raises concerns and questions that must be addressed. The relentless changes to technology and Big Data are keeping everyone on their toes, and the reality is that organizations and tech departments, government agencies, consumer protection groups and consumers are struggling to keep up. For me, there are 3 Big Data concerns that should keep people up at night: Data Privacy, Data Security and Data Discrimination.

Data Privacy

When the 4th Amendment was ratified in 1791 to give US citizens the “reasonable expectation of privacy”, there was no way for those who wrote it to have imagined the complications of 21st century technology.

There’s no doubt we benefit from many conveniences and breakthroughs due to Big Data-powered apps and services, but at what risk to our privacy? Do we have any control about how much of our personal information is used? We’re now at the point where even a total technology boycott may no longer fully protect us. Unless, of course, you choose to walk everywhere you go, wear a different mask every day (to foil face-recognition technology) and use only cash (that you never deposit in a financial institution). Succeeding at navigating the modern world without technology is quite tricky and won’t necessarily protect your privacy 100%.

It’s true much of this information is used in benign ways, but the potential for sensitive data to be used for evil is frightening. And the U.S. government is still trying to determine how best to regulate internet privacy rules. Congress is currently debating rules adopted last year by the Federal Communications Commission that require internet service providers to tell its customers what information is collected and how it will be used or shared.

While the outcome of pending legislation is anyone’s guess, American lawmakers could follow the lead of the European Union and create an environment that protects people. In 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be fully implemented with the primary goal to “give citizens back control of their personal data.” This regulation applies to any company holding data about any European Union citizen so includes Google, Facebook and other international companies “processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location.” And, it turns out, The EU aren’t messing around. Penalties for non-compliance are up to 4% of annual global turnover—a big stick to keep companies in line.

Let’s not forget that ethical business practices are just good business. I advise all the companies I work with that transparency and ethical use of data is vital—not only because it’s the right thing to do, but stronger regulation is coming. Companies should do what they can where they can to be transparent and help consumers understand what data they are collecting and for what purpose. The Big Data ecosystem is becoming increasingly complex with the Internet of Things and connected devices. Companies who are forthright and build trust will be increasingly important to their customers.

 By Bernard Marr, Contributor

Source : Forbes