3 May 2017
Hi Ho. Hi Ho. A Mining We Will Go: The Problems with Data Mining within ISPs.
Over the past several decades we have certainly seen a rise of technological information as a process. With this rise of technology and new information, many companies and industries have the power and the privilege to abuse their new found data. This new information source is known in the tech industry as “Big data.” Big data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside a company. This big data is being used without the consumer’s permission and is happening a faster rate with each increasing day. Although many argue that this data mining has its benefits; in fact, the Internet Market Engine lists better knowledge of buyer behavior as one of the key befits of data mining in his article “Data Mining at Work: Predicting and Preventing Terrorism, Mitch Kramer argues that “We may be able to stop the next big terrorist attack before it happens by exploring data mining techniques” (3).
To dive into Kramer’s argument, although a loose one at best we must first understand what data mining actually is. In our modern world full of data, businesses and companies have a longing desire to analyze data in an effort to uncover meaningful patterns within the data. These patterns however only have the opportunity to be potentially useful for technology is not ready for the immense amount of filtering that is taking place. Additionally, one person or company should have the right to mine “our data.” From coffee shops to airports, what they are doing with my data needs to be disclosed. If it cannot be disclosed, options to change what I share need to be put into place. Take Amazon for example. Amazon.com is considered one of the worlds most popular online retail stores; an online retail store that has changed the way we expect online marketing to take place. Although most of us forget; or weren’t even born into the the days of bookstores; physical stores began with minimal data keeping. Physical stores could track which books sold to their customers and which did not. If the business was “advanced” enough to have a loyalty program, they could even link purchases to individual customers. That however, was about the extend of how much data the company could keep. Anymore would have been just too complex. This changed with big online retail stores like Amazon. Andrew McAfee of Harvard points out that “Once shopping moved online, though, the understanding of customers increased dramatically. Online retailers could track not only what customers bought, but also what else they looked at; how they navigated through the site; how much they were influenced by promotions, reviews, and page layouts; and similarities across individuals and groups” (McAfee 4.) Amazon in particular doesn’t stop in just collecting data. The multi-billion-dollar company practices in the seemingly legal but very unethi...