Don’t let big data turn us into Big Brothers

What if Big Brother had access to big data technology? Big data handled without care might easily turn us all unknowingly into Big Brothers or their collaborators.

Although some might see it differently, the society foreseen and described by George Orwell in the dystopian novel 1984 has not become reality. But what if Big Brother had access to big data technology? Big data handled without care might easily turn us all unknowingly into Big Brothers or their collaborators.

Big Brother is symbolic of the totalitarian state Oceania where every citizen was under constant surveillance by the authorities.

Digital computers just recently were invented when 1984 was published in 1949 and were hardly known to people in general. Computers and big data play no real role in the novel, but it is easy to imagine what Big Brother could have done if they were able to capture, curate, manage and process huge volumes of data.

Big Brother better off with computers

Without doubt, Big Brother would be far better off with big data capabilities. They had the manpower but not the necessary data tools.

Today we have those tools. We do not even need the manpower Big Brother possessed. Automatic capture and processing of tremendous amounts of data can be handled by computers, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, assisted by a few people.

Read more: the Basefarm & *um big data definition.

What we define as big data lakes are key and the resource for big data analyses. The data lake sources can be multiple and the potential results from data analyses can be very interesting.

Huge big data potential

By looking into big data, we can reveal customers and entire societies, including new ways of services distribution and even entire new business models. Basefarm is capable of providing these kinds of analyses.

The view of some big data evangelists is that companies possessing big data capacities might be in position to redefine their entire business. For instance, logistic companies produce enormous amounts of data. Evangelists suggest that these data represent such value that utilizing the data can be core for such companies in the future, not the original logistics business.

Will they also become Big Brothers?

Avoid the dark path

Unless companies are careful, that might very well be the outcome. The path to Big Brother status starts with what data you collect in in the big data lake.

Security and compliance are an integrated part of daily Basefarm operations. The value of this knowledge is even higher in the new world of increasing capabilities to collect, curate, communicate and move data.

Without compliance work, we can all easily step over the threshold and become something far from our intentions.

The Ministry of Love wants your logs

An example of the road to becoming Big Brother is how we handle logs. Infrastructure and application logs are true big data sources. In Basefarm we are enthusiastic about the opportunities provided by these sources. So much information is available to increase production and the customer experience, even leading to completely new ways of serving our customers.

However, logs contain geographical distribution, processing and personal data which are regulated in GDPR. Not least, a big topic is who can access the data. If the logs contain information about personal health, maybe only medical doctors or psychologists are allowed to access them. You definitely don’t want them falling into the hands of Big Brother.

The log data example is interesting. For all Basefarm knows, IT staff might already be unknowingly handling logs in a way that does not comply with regulations.

Unknowing collaborator

No sane person would like to be associated with Big Brother. We do not want to contribute to others becoming Big Brother, and definitely not by them using our data.

To avoid this we need comprehensive control of our data. We need to control where it is, what it contains, who has access and how it is shared with governments, service partners and companies which provide big data services like Basefarm.

The key to avoiding collaborating with Big Brother is to handle your data correctly. It is a priceless asset for your business and you don’t want it falling into the wrong hands.Don’t risk becoming a Big Brother. Through compliance with GDPR and other regulations we can derive huge value from big data.

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