Data is Power | You Should Listen To ThisFebruary 12th, 2018
Data is power.
That statement is clearly emphasized by the hosts of Prime(d), who in their latest episode explore the conflicts that are brewing between governments, individuals, and private companies over the use of personal data.
This episode asks how it is possible to balance the extreme helpfulness of data with its potential for misuse? Is it possible to build a utopia from a foundation of data? Or is the growing network of data sharing leading to dystopian tragedy?
In exploring these questions, this episode introduces the notion that at all times our personal data is being shared to private companies and governments. Every app we use, every call we make, every place we go is logged and shared. The benefits of this, the hosts argue, often helps build more productive and useful tools for disruptive companies and local governments. Entrepreneurs fix some of the challenges people run into in their daily lives through the understanding of data created by each one of us. Governments are constantly improving cities and utilities to meet growing needs of a population, and the development of smart cities is one example of this productive use of personal data.
What now are the challenges that come with the sharing and selling of individual data? At some level, we have come to accept that companies like Google use our search preferences and email or text history to shape the advertisements and content we see regularly. But this has become part of the online world and, perhaps, to most is accepted. This episode, however, takes this notion a step further to suggests that the mountain of data we produce every day is rapidly and actively processed by automated systems to assess our actions and characteristics. For example, this data sharing, the host’s note, can affect individuals’ candidacy for jobs their applying to, or be shared with others in your community based on publically available data networks.
You should listen to this podcast, however, because it looks into this balance between both extremes. The podcast brings to light many solutions that are currently being developed, to protect the personal interests of you and me in order to gain the most from the use of collective data to improve and reshape our world. You should listen to this podcast to understand the origins of Amazon Web Services, the largest cloud network in the world, and the source of much of this conflict. You should listen to this because it summarizes many of the legal cases that are currently shaping the next step in this process of data usage by both private companies and our government. Lastly, you should listen to this because data is power and will undoubtedly continue be utilized and shared as technology becomes more ingrained in our daily lives.