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Should we worry about big data?

What is big data? And why is it something that people are worrying about?
Herb Scribner, Deseret News Modified: April 29, 2014 at 4:05 pm •  Published: April 30, 2014
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Is big data becoming more and more like Big Brother?

Some privacy advocates think so.

Big data is another name for the Internet knowing what you see online, and it helps curate certain advertising and marketing ploys toward you.

And it can tell when you’re broke, according to CNN.

“Big Data knows when you've fallen on hard times,” CNN reported. “Whether you're deep in debt or a senior on a fixed income, data brokers can track and sell your information to payday lenders, debt consolidation firms and other marketers.”

This information is obtained pretty easily, as data brokers can find out what you’re applying for and what you’re spending your money on, CNN reported.

But not everyone is happy with big data gaining research on people’s personal lives.

Privacy advocates, like Ed Mierzwinski, the consumer program director at U.S. Public Interest Research Group, told CNN that people need more protection.

"We shouldn't use our most private information for just any marketing purpose," he said to CNN. "We need additional protections."

Big data may affect more than just everyday Americans. The Associated Press reported that big data can be harmful to those in poverty, too. The impoverished are targeted especially, which could impact even such things as the job market, the AP reported.