Don’t Mind if they Mine

ImageI wonder what a data miner looks like. Does he/she need a hard hat like coal miners where for when they go digging through the piles and piles of data being collected on the internet? Who am I kidding? There’s no way a person could comb through all the data being mined. That takes the work of some very sophisticated computer systems.

Prior to our lecture I didn’t really understand how all the data being mined would be put to use but when Amazon was brought up it all started to make sense. Amazon collects a ton of data and with that it can probably predict shopping patterns or the latest trends and be prepared for future sales. I thought the Netflix example was an interesting one as well. Netflix can track what shows are most popular and then create its own shows that are similar in categories and hope that they resonate with its customers.

Without hearing bad examples of data mining, I have a hard time understanding if I should be concerned or not. Relating back to the Netflix or Amazon example, I don’t feel like I’ve lost my privacy for the data they collect. I see benefits in that they know products to recommend to me and so forth. I would be worried if Amazon was selling the data but if they are using it in the way that they state I’m not concerned.

I know Facebook uses our data to make money off extremely targeted advertising. It is making money off our usage of the platform. It bothers me but not enough to stop using Facebook. I guess the bright side is that the companies buying the advertising aren’t getting my data. They are just allowed to show their ads to me. It doesn’t seem as bad when you think about it that way.

The specific guidelines I would create would be around the security of the data collected. I would want it protected so that it couldn’t be hacked into and I wouldn’t want it to be sold. If I’m giving a website my business I’m fine with it using my information. I’m not fine with it making money off of me. But again it doesn’t worry me enough to go look at terms and conditions before I use a website to know what I’m getting myself into.

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One thought on “Don’t Mind if they Mine

  1. Thanks Stacy. I like your introduction! Check out Lauren’s post for a real life example of how data mining impacted privacy.

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