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Personal Big Data – Very Big, Very Personal

personal big data

Personal big data is not an oxymoron. Big data is personal data that grows and connects in ways you may never imagine. 

When you start talking about cloud and IoT, it’s not long before big data emerges. Big Data refers to the large amounts of data being created and stored every day. Almost everyone and everything on earth creates data. Traditional tools can’t keep up. New tools, generally called analytics can. Analytics finds patterns that may have meaning to someone. And “someone” may not be your friend. Since you started reading this paragraph, another 2,000 terabytes of data was created and stored.

Let’s begin by telling some stories. The first one is about how you can use big data. You have a Facebook account. Facebook has a sophisticated search function. Unlike Google, Facebook’s “Graph Search” is semantic. It searches based on meaning, not just keywords. It searches for people, pages, places, and tagged objects. You can easily become a data miner and find people with similar interests, demographics and much more. Advertisers love this. Here is a video about how to use Facebook search to generate marketing leads. Needless to say, stalkers love this, too.

On the other hand, if you want to reduce how much personal data you reveal to Facebook Search, check your privacy settings. Don’t make anything you post “public” for search unless you mean to.

Personal Big Data – It’s A RIOT

Second story. A few years ago, Raytheon created something called Rapid Information Overlay Technology. RIOT is a tool used by government and industry to track individual behaviors based on social media activities. Not only can it map your activities and contacts, it can also predict your behavior.

I kid you not. Take a look at this leaked promotional video from 2013. Since then, many more cyber tracking tools have proliferated.

Big data has personal consequences. Any information shared publicly can be found. Not surprisingly, it can be used in ways you never imagined. As a result of cloud computing and IoT, personal big data grows exponentially. All that data mining stuff you see on NCIS LA and Bull is real.

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