In the present world, whatever activity human is doing, it is generating data. From a child, who is making notes on computer for lecture to a corporate person working on huge amount of data to make an inference, everybody is generating data in one or other way.
However, one question stood in front of society- What we will going to do with that amount of data? With that data, many good and bad aspects also came for the society like thieves or terrorists can hack the data and they can do whatever hazardous thing they want. As recently in 2014, America Online (Web portal and online service provider) was hacked and 2, 40,000 records were compromised which exposed personal information of customers.
Two Faces Of Data
There are always two sides of data – good and bad. First, let us focus on limitations of data. Let us think of a society which is fully data driven. However, some incidents suggest that techniques like data analytics or big data can go wrong. In presidential elections, various models have been applied to predict the result or to drive the result to a particular candidate but all went wrong. Another incident happened in which 12000 residents got wrong letters that their Medicare benefits had been cut in Michigan.
When data is used to drive the decisions, then it largely depends on the source of data and models used on data. Recently in presidential elections, most of the media and Analysts predicted that Hilary Clinton had winning chance of 71% but the result was otherwise. This shows that wrong data or wrong model will lead to wrong decisions.
However, there were cases in which data saved the day. In the early 2000s, it is found in Tamil Nadu that scarcity of low cost, reliable and emergency transportation resulted in high infant and maternal mortality rates. In 2008, Tamil Nadu government in partnership with GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute launched the free 108 emergency transportation service in the state. This step reduced the mortality rate from 35 to 22 per 1000 live birth. In this case, data saved the life and still is.
Technologies To Hack Customer Life
Due to the focus on data, companies are making lot of technologies like big data, Hadoop, R software, SAS etc. However, it has another aspect, which is now data has value in market. Therefore, data like Debit card number, Email id, Phone number are valuable for companies like Amazon, Flipkart etc. Hackers are stealing data and making bid on dark web. Dark web is the place where people can do a lot of illegal stuff without being traced. Many hawala operators are also operating through Dark web.
Beware Of Potential Threat
These technologies are clearly used to understand customers so that customer specific products can be made and revenge can be generated in much more specific manner. Nevertheless, in my opinion, this is also a breach in our personal life that is corresponding to hacking.
As PayPal cofounder Max Levchin said – “The world is now awash in data and we can see consumers in a lot clearer ways”
This is a challenge which time has given to the society to deal with it and progress in the life.