Big Data-Totianna Steptoe

This debate on Big Data being a Civil Rights issue is startling. Especially because I never even looked at it this way. At most I just thought that my phone was a tracking device for the government to keep tabs on me. But a deeper analysis exposes the “redlining effect” that these data collections could impose. I love that Google and Youtube can guess at what I want to see and hear next. The trouble with that is that I am openly being stereotyped based on the information that I inquire about. This could open me up to a host of limitations that I had no idea could ever happen. At first it is just possible restrictions on credit cards and such, like the article mentions. Later on I could be excluded from a possible job opportunity if employers had access to my likes, and felt the need to discriminate or withhold the position due to my clicking. That is a scary thought that I would like to investigate a bit further. Now I know why you encouraged us to keep our social medias as private as possible, you just never know what you are or aren’t really saying about yourself.

On the flip side, there are an infinite amount of positive aspects to big data that I had not explored. As a historian alone, this is clutch since it allows us to read and explore a variety of information in a small space and time. It is true that we don’t have the ability to read everything, and so we end up excluding information. That is the trouble with the way history was written in the first place. So much of the scholarship comes from the winners, and/or information that was selected to complete the story. With big data, we have access to whatever can fit on the internet to be used as a tool for research. As a modern day historian, this is life.

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