Yours, Mine, Theirs – Big Data

We express a future that we cannot see but the irony of it is that we can see. We foresee, we analyse and we design for IT.

What is IT?

IT is Big Data

The lecture on the 21st August 2015 : Data, Data, Everywhere by Dr Jacqueline Lorber Kansunic mentions that

‘Data does not just exist, it has to be generated’

(Manovich 2002). The lecture explored some vital questions: How is data collected? Are there any difficulties in making data useful today? What is the power of data?

Data is generated by us and we may not realize it but we do it unintentionally and subconsciously through simple everyday activities including social media applications that we participate in and engage with. Everything is advancing at a rapid pace and mobile technology and applications such as social media go hand in hand as Clarence mentions in – Technological Dictatorship in 2050

“Will change the world because they will be ubiquitous and will exert illegitimate power”.

What’s interesting to see is that James points out in ‘How Many Ways Do You Connect With Your Devices?’, that there are opportunities and benefits for both parties (personal/user and large organizations) in utilizing the data as information.

In the online world, nothing is ever free.

Truly nothing is free. Yes the application was free to download but at the cost of your personal data. Data collection occurs with a simple click of a like on Facebook or Instagram. Have you ever noticed that when you like something on Instagram, the next time you go to browse something the browser is filled with all the similar things that you liked just seconds ago? Sound familiar? Facebook advocates a similar data collection system and what many of us do not realize is that we gave these organizations the permission when we clicked on that AGREE or ACCEPT button. Instagram alone has 4 million active accounts, imagine how much data there is ready for collection and processing.

Lets be honest, its our fault because a majority of us never really read all the terms and conditions anyways. If we did click DISAGREE or DO NOT ACCEPT, we are not granted the rights to utilise these social media applications but is that fair? The only difficulties making data useful today is fighting for our data rights as Grace states in ‘Future of Internet 2025’

Our privacy is a human right !

Michael Fraser in his interview on ‘social media, data & property rights’ mentions that large corporations in alliance with the government bodies have us under constant surveillance without warrants and makes a valid point that ‘we as a community have to exercise out rights as citizens in order to be reduced to objects of surveillance’ (Funnel, 2014).

We’re in an era of ‘Data Renaissance’, in which new marketing worlds await exploration and raw material – raw data – awaits extrapolation, circulation and speculation. ‘Data is a goldmine and derived from that is data speculation – amassing data so as to produce patterns, as opposed to having an idea for which one needs to collect supporting data’ (Raley, Rita 2013)

Since the incident that occurred on September 11 Australia has increased their expenditure on human and technological security measures at and beyond the border. An example of expanding human surveillance capacities include overseas federal police and immigration liaison officers monitoring and disrupting people smuggling activities with the support of investments in information technology (Wilson, Webber 2008)

Actuaries also employ data collection to evaluate future risks such as death, unemployment and illness. Their projections are vital as it is the backbone of the insurance and financial security industries (Robert, D 2010).


Reference List

Funnel, A 2014, ‘Social media, data & property rights’, ABC, viewed on 10 October 2015, <;.

Raley, Rita 2013, ‘Dataveillance and countervailance,’ in Gitelman, L. (ed) “Raw data” is an oxymoron, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, p 7.

Robert, D 2010, ‘Actuarial Justice’, Marisluste WordPress, viewed 18 October 2015,<;

Wilson, D, Weber, L 2008, Surveillance, Risk and Preemption on The Australian Border, Surveillance & Society Org, viewed 16 October 2015 <;


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