Internet of Things

Guidelines to use Big Data in an ethical way

The goal here is to develop better ways to use the unprecedented computing power to our advantage without intruding on our privacy or ethical standards.

The advances in big data technology have reached the point of privacy invasion. Overt surveillance from CCTV, body cameras, and drones, facial recognition etc. But, big data industry is not as simple as it may seem. Moving into the Big Data era carelessly will have massive ethical and privacy impacts. The goal here is to develop better ways to use the unprecedented computing power to our advantage without intruding on our privacy or ethical standards.

As the big data domain will escalate, the need for maintaining strict guidelines to use that data will also rise.  Here are three guidelines that the companies should follow to make use of big data ethically.

Maintenance of trust: The company should be able to maintain a trust between itself and its customers. For example- if you are telling your customer that you are giving them a specific app for free and then charging them in other ways, i.e through data. This is somewhere the breach of trust which should not happen. Today, a customer is very smart and he cannot be cheated so easily. He knows that nothing is for free and he will be charged somewhere for whatever he gets. So, companies should maintain a transparency with its customers to make use of big data ethically.

Privacy of the users: Users should be able to maintain the privacy of its content as per their needs. They should be able to determine what they want to share or not. Privacy policies should be simple and understandable. A good example of how not to do it is Facebook. They change their privacy policy every few weeks/months.

Security from illegal channels: With more data being collected and stored, more criminals want to have a share of it in an illegal way. Develop a crisis strategy in case the company gets hacked and any data gets stolen, looking at the hacks of Facebook, Evernote or Linkedin.

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Kritika Sehgal

A storyteller and a writer from the hills of Shimla, Kritika Sehgal is a tech- savvy and has a strong inclination towards Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Cryptocurrencies. She is also the founder of storytelling blog ‘Words of Five Senses' and has worked with The Indian Express, CNN News18 and Techseen, Singapore before.

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