PART II — Big Data Privacy — Introduction

By analyzing patterns within the “digital tracks” that we leave as we move into the digital world (websites, phone calls, credit card transactions, global positioning systems, etc.), Data Scientists are finding that the can explain many things, such as financial failures, revolutions, panics, which once seemed random events.

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These new findings in all their complexity are shaping the future of social science and public policy.

The three divisions within the data control spectrum today for Big Data are Common Data, Personal Data, and Government Data.

1 — Common Data

Common data are available for everyone, with minor limitations of use.

Data such as public health, maps, census, financial indices, transportation, and government, when shared and analyzed, enriches us to better understand the world we live.

This data can be used, and many are part of the data markets being distributed free of charge.

The data can be mined and from them discovered the famous black swans, unlikely events that humankind could never imagine that exist.

2 — Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Individuals or companies control proprietary data, and for which the legal and technological infrastructure should provide strict control and audit their use.

The World Economic Forum proposed this model and allows us psychologically at least keep us safe based on a reliable network.

Your bank account is based on this model, where only you access, confidence and know that the banks will not misuse your data.

This mutual trust can be broken, and that’s what happened with Facebook, which has lost the confidence of its users, promise that third parties would never use the data, but in practice ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica.

We must pay close attention to the protection of individual data to prevent digital theft and misuse of information.

3 — Secret Government Data

The risk is to put so many personal data in government hands, especially when this data is centralized and can be attacked by interested in selling them to companies or countries.

Ideally, these data are decentralized and encrypted to prevent invasion of privacy, a task to be solved by governments on their investment in technology and Big Data.

Another situation is the data that the government hides from the population, secret data, and when released, embarrassed the patriot’s citizens.

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Unlimited access to data on the citizen’s behavior is a great danger to the government and its citizens and should be preserved in any way.


As the microscope and the telescope revolutionized the study of biology and astronomy, Big Data has the potential to transform the regulations and public policies.

Big Data for the first time can offer us the opportunity to see society in all its complexity, made up of millions of people connected to networks.

We are entering the world of data, where governance is much more data-driven than in the past. The success of a society based on data is the protection of personal privacy and individual freedom.

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  • In the era of big data, personal data, are worth gold, and who gets more control over them, better to know the preferences of users, will have more chances of success. Hence, the significant rise of Big Data in Marketing and eCommerce applications.
  • Using advanced computer algorithms to specify and verify how personal data we use in the new privacy regulations.
  • Blockchain is a technology that can solve many privacy issues, favoring the copyright and private access to data for various types of goods and services.
  • The injurious behavior of employees, industrial espionage, and cyber attacks are among the greatest dangers facing companies in the era of Big Data.

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Article selected from the eBook “Big Data for Executives and Market Professionals — Second Edition

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(credits Author)
José Antonio Ribeiro Neto. Zezinho.

Author. AI Researcher. WebCT USA IT Executive. Brazilian Portuguese citizen. Digitalis Portugal partner. Education IT Director. Ex-soccer player. Peace to all.