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The era of information

Can data privacy coexist with data intelligence in the era of information?

Thomas Glare
data privacy
© Shutterstock / Andriy Yalanskyi

Companies, search engines, and even the gadgets we use, collect information on our details and preferences, seemingly to improve their services. As such, there’s a certain level of protection information requires. However, can data privacy truly coexist with data intelligence?

We’re all living in the era of information. It is a world governed by the Internet, smartphones, and social media. So, it’s easy to publish and search for personal information. When your credit application gets rejected, this is due to your personal and financial background, information which credit companies can easily access. The photos you once posted on social media profiles or elsewhere can come back and hurt you while applying for a new job!

All those so-called free sites sell your data to companies, both making huge profits on a large scale. Nowadays, information is power! That’s why privacy is so important, and certain information ethics have to be enforced!

Data privacy vs. data intelligence

Moreover, it’s true; information ethics are being enforced up to a certain level. From one year to another, we get new guarantees of privacy protection, particularly for the virtual space. The new regulations rule in favor of persons requesting the deletion of the data collected on them, as well as any other adjacent information related to them. There are, however, exceptions in those situations that legitimize data retention.

Particularly on the Internet, the “traces” that the user leaves behind him when browsing, are thoroughly supervised through advanced systems of personal processing information. Thus, the era of search engines continues to open gaps in the private life of Internet users, who assist in the collection, storage, and dissemination of their buyer information – sometimes, without even having expressed their agreement for the respective operations to be carried out.

The right to collect information must remain in a fair balance with the right to privacy of the data subjects. However, is this truly possible in a world governed by the “more is better” principle?

Current perception of personal information

In the current business climate, which we have all witnessed at one level or another, information is considered the most powerful tool and resource for financial profit. In other words, the more companies know about you, the better their chances of selling you their products. Extra information is always welcome, sometimes regardless of its source. That’s not to say that all companies will go that extra mile, but on average, the majority adhere to this “more is better” trend.

Moreover, even though this is not entirely accurate, and not always the case, companies continue to collect information on you, to the greatest extent they can. Failing to understand that less personal information doesn’t necessarily mean less data intelligence, they continue to pursue this trend as if it were the ultimate competitive business differentiator. In addition, sometimes, things go wrong.

SEE ALSO: Why you should be thinking about data privacy and cyber liability

When protection information systems fail

We’re also living in an era of constant data breaches, exposed or exploited vulnerabilities, and the all-so-popular leaks. Every day we read about frightening new cases of financial fraud, identity theft, phishing, pyramidal schemes, and whatnot. And this is just the half of it.

Behind closed doors, hidden from the eyes of the public, some companies also engage in massive data acquisitions and exchanges. Take, for example, some of the significant Online Casino affiliate programs, who have been exposed for selling their customers’ personal information to other competitors, or passing it along under the radar to sister-brands, without even asking for consent. All companies of the sort are engaging in such practices that violate any information ethics.

One thing is sure, though: in this kind of business climate data privacy is, and will always be at risk. Sure, companies regularly inspect information security systems and invest large amounts of capital in new ones. But there is still a risk at play, and ingenious criminal minds always find new means to breach these systems and collect information to exploit.

The future of data privacy and data intelligence

The first thing that needs to happen is a dramatic change in the way in which businesses perceive data intelligence. As hard as it may seem, their approach has to start following a ‘backward direction.’ Moreover, by that, we mean to collect information in the minimum amount needed to conduct business. Truth information that allows them to establish and maintain communication with their customers, but which doesn’t barge into the most private parts of their customers’ lives.

The push for more and more personal information needs to be toned down! The consumers constantly feel that their privacy is being violated. They’re always being watched, recorded, and analyzed. It will eventually lead to general mistrust in companies’ services and MOs, up to the point where it can significantly affect the entire seller-buyer relationship.

SEE ALSO: Is your browser tracking you? Brave and Mozilla Firefox offer privacy solutions

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that for the time being, information remains at the center of almost any business model out there. We live in an era of data intelligence, machine learning, and AI. Everything is focused on vast volumes of information processing and interpretation, which is believed to guarantee financial success.

However, companies need to get a lot smarter about the way they collect information, store, protect, and use it. The focus should be diverted from collecting individual data towards collecting analyzing and processing aggregated information. Instead of examining and relying on data obtained from one single phone number, the focus should be placed on its prefix. It will considerably expand the data intelligence horizon and gather all the intelligence needed on a whole area instead of just one person. Future engineering and advanced business models need to be based on aggregated data instead of personal buyer information! Otherwise, buyers will reach a boiling point, where data privacy violation and exploitation will no longer be tolerated.

Nevertheless, let us know if you agree with this, and if you’ve ever felt like your data, privacy has been compromised or seriously violated, feel free to share your experience with us!

Author

Thomas Glare

Thomas Glare is a dedicated tech content writer from the UK. He recently graduated from Utrecht University with a degree in Psychology. For the last six months, he’s been helping us with interesting and thought-provoking articles on the global trends of the modern era we live in. 


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