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10 Privacy Problems of Big Data Analytics

privacy, data security, security, data

Source: Rebecca Herold


With all the data leaking, hacking episodes, and finding out that some data agencies use people’s emotions against them to change their mind on a subject pertaining to elections, it’s no surprise that data privacy is such a concern.  I know it’s a big concern of mine.  I don’t want my information to be abused or sold to third agencies to use as they will.  Who wants that?  Tonight, I decided to share 10 big privacy concerns we all have to look out for. 

10 Privacy Problems

  1. Privacy Breaches and Embarrassments –  We all know about the problem Facebook has now due to this.  Instead, let’s look at how companies might use data that they captured on their sites of pregnant women who didn’t tell their families.  Said family finds out through flyers in the mail, the wife is then embarrassed as she didn’t want to tell anyone yet.  These situations happen a lot.
  2. The Possible Impossibility of Remaining Anonymous –  With so much data being shared and the powerful analytics being used to decipher it, makes sharing information anonymously almost impossible.  The customer needs to be able to have a way to make rules on how to use anonymous data.   
  3. Masking Data Might Become ObsoleteData masking needs to be done correctly.  If not, it’s very possible that Big Data Analytics might just break open the mask set in place.  You must set up policies, procedures, and processes effectively in order for the user to keep their masks.   
  4. Unethical Use Based on Interpretation – This is the big one on everyone’s radar today.  Trying to influence behaviors and decision-making processes is a super huge threat presently.
  5. Big Data Analysis isn’t Always 100% Accurate –  The data gathered isn’t always on point, which means results aren’t always going to be right.  This is a problem.  It could also be flawed algorithms or using incorrect data models.  The more complex the algorithm or data set, the more chances for mistakes to occur.  People, in turn, can be denied services, be falsely accused of something or even be misdiagnosed as an illness that they don’t have.   

If That Isn’t Enough…

  1. Discriminating People – Analytics has to be totally objective here or it’s very possible that people can be turned down for opportunities.  This includes promotions, hiring job candidates, and getting loans.   
  2. A Gap in Laws to Protect Involved People –  This one pertains to today especially.  It’s amazing how it always takes a situation before companies have to look at their business models to see how they can better protect their users.  Most still only tell the user about privacy risks thinking that it’s enough, but it isn’t enough, not anymore.   
  3. It’s Most Likely that Big Data Will Last Forever – There’s not much indication that any company will ever delete all the data that they’ve gathered about customers over time.  It’s too valuable for them to consider giving up.  So, the repositories just keep on growing as the insights are invaluable.    
  4. E-discovery Problems – Companies, for the most part, have to provide paperwork for litigation.  Now that most all documents are stored in repositories, analytics has to be used through what’s called predictive coding.  This helps to find and review papers needed in the litigation.  The concern here is that the code might be faulty, not finding all the data and documents for litigation proceedings. 
  5. Patents and Copyrights Might Become Obsolete – The big concern here is that when patents are submitted the patent offices might have a hard time determining if the patent is unique or not.  There’s so much data that it might just be too difficult to verify.  This is affecting copyrights also as it’s so hard to control information, which in turn affects royalties too. 


Don’t get me wrong.  Big Data is great for business and can really help improve processes.  A lot of technology upgrades and inventions are occurring every day in order to keep up with all the new trends.  What needs considering is the 10 problems above to make your business a leader in data privacy along with many others.   New accountability policies and procedures need to be created to cover all these changes.  Make sure to implement privacy and security controls before putting anything to use.  Keep vigilant and don’t do what other companies have done in the past, by either ignoring the problems brought up or brushing them under the rug.  That’s my suggestion.  Customers will like you a lot more for it. 

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