"...Big data refers to things one can do at a large scale that cannot be done at a smaller one, to extract new insights or create new forms of value, in ways that change markets, organizations, the relationship between citizens and governments, and more."1 Today, technology is more a part of our lives than ever before. With more and more people all over the world gravitating towards social media and using sites such as Twitter and Facebook, more of our private lives is available to others than ever before. In his article "Big Data and Privacy" Tom Price explores the controversial role big data plays in our society today. While Price presents many of the benefits this data offers, he also notes its controversial nature. The main issue that big data collection and usage creates is that of consumer privacy. As Edward Snowden discussed in an interview with TV host John Oliver and throughout the documentary CitizenFour, organizations such as the NSA have access to unlimited amounts of data on the American public. Thus, while new technology has allowed for numerous advancements, it has also opened the doors for a debate on issues of privacy infringement. The world of big data has led society to a difficult crossroads, where people desire convenience and better, faster technology but simultaneously want to maintain their privacy. Although a huge issue, it seems many people do not recognize it as such, due to the fact that people are simply not aware of the existence, much less the use, of vast amounts of information, especially since big data is a relatively new concept. Additionally, it is often downplayed or presented in a very skewed manner. The government and other organizations that use this data for either surveillance or business practices do not want consumers to know how their private information may in fact be used. Thus when the risk of privacy infringement involves the government, it is usually justified for reasons of defense. Similarly, when companies are accused of misusing people's data, they often argue that its for the good of the consumer and allows them to better serve their customers.
Fahey, Bridget, "The Big Data Debate Today" (2015). Pop Culture Intersections. 3.