Sola Chan G7 Big Data Essay
If you were given a choice to choose one of two things: privacy, and convenience/quality of life improvements. Many will choose privacy over convenience, but considering how often it is used in daily life, is it worth it to make the change? Big data brought us many benefits, though those benefits come with a cost, however, with the benefits being safety and convenience, it will be very hard to put it down as it has become a crucial part of our everyday lives.
First, one of the most important uses for big data is that it can identify suspects and criminals just by using the facial recognition software, as seen in the video “Next Level Surveillance: China Embraces Facial Recognition” by the Wall Street Journal, many of the security cameras (if not all) in China are connected to a giant mainframe in which the police can look at the footage and track who is in the current scene, the software can even predict relatives or friends of people by learning who goes where very often and with who. The system has every single person in China and therefore can track every person in China. Many residents in China are worried about how the Chinese government always knowing where they are. However, the Chinese government has no reason track you unless you did something illegal. Moreover, the system has proved very effective, as seen in the video “China: ‘the world’s biggest camera surveillance network’”, it took only 7 minutes to find and locate the host of the show, John Sudworth, which was marked as a suspect in China’s surveillance system for the sake of the video. Armed police quickly gathered around him as he strolled into an open area after confirming his identity. This technology could be used to massively decrease the crime rate in China if most of the population are informed about this new technology.
With the benefits come with the cost, as with all things, but the benefits versus the cost is like an anvil versus a feather. As Kenneth Cukier said in the video “Big Data is Better Data” in literally the first sentence, he said: “America’s favorite pie?” and the Audience replied “Apple”, “How do we know this? Because of data.” he added. Grocery stores can collect your data to analyze what you like to buy and recommend new picks for you, making everything much more convenient. Companies can also collect your data to see what’s wrong with their services and product and see how you use it, so they can improve their services and products, with the cost of your data. But this data isn’t very important, most of the times it’s about when and how you use it, as nobody is going to store top-secret FBI spreadsheets in a Fitbit or something, so no one needs to worry.
Big data seems like it’s a relatively new piece of “technology”, But during normal web browsing, and you can already see it in action. I don’t even have to cite anything, just go on some random webpage. If you watched something on YouTube about computers, there’s no doubt that some computer ads will appear on your screen after you scroll for a while. Coincidence? In fact, it’s not. YouTube can collect your data on the videos you’ve watched and sell it to other ad companies, then those companies will give you ads on the topic you watched. Therefore, everyone makes money, it’s a win-win situation for both companies, but maybe not too much for you. However, YouTube does this for income and other reasons. Such as recommending videos for you. When was the last time you switched your focus or videos completely just from the recommendation bar (such as suddenly switching from… say “Linus tech tips”, to some kind of “Bright Side” fun facts video)? Probably not this month, unless you still use the old way of browsing YouTube. It would be a pain to have this method of browsing literally everything just, removed, imagine that.