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Data mining and privacy are hot topics right now.

Data mining and privacy are hot topics right now. Companies want to mine this data to help make their products and services more relevant to their customers. Businesses must walk a fine line though. Customers will abandon your company in droves if you ask to collect too much data or accident leak something private.

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For companies, I think the most important best practice for them is be transparent. I liked Amazons section of their website where they address their data mining. Its commendable how they show users to opt out of mobile tracking. Also, I have never seen a company show an example of the data they collect on a user. This transparency is appreciated and should be held as an example for other brands. I doubt they tell the entire story though as that would risk compromising proprietary or trade secrets. Regardless, what they do is impressive.

I don't have strong concerns about data mining but I do have some concerns. For example, I pick up my phone at work every day and Apple tells me how long it would take me to get home. I don't have to do anything or open an app. My phone not only knows where I am, but also where I live and when I usually leave work. All of that data is hopefully being anonymized and sent to computers that are well protected. In the wrong hands, that data could be largely damaging and potentially dangerous. My daily routine could be stolen and I could easily end up being a victim of theft. I probably have over 20 apps which amplifies the amount of data I'm sending out.

Im most wary of my banking apps. Letting my bank know where I am at all times is unsettling. For example, my credit card company could know when I go to a store but don't use my card. They could then send me a coupon to use at that store in conjunction with my credit card. Small things like that give my unrest. Why does my bank, Starbucks, AMC movie theaters, or SportsCenter need to know where I am?

For the sake of public interest and national security, I can support data mining to some extent. Obviously being able to prevent attacks and threats before they occur is ideal, but at what cost? The NSA must have a bunch of data and research on those who pose no threat. Anyone can easily have their data pulled in an instant or worse, stolen. I don't like the idea of being watched without awareness.

Services from Amazon, Google, and Apple make my experience with them a breeze and insanely convenient. It does come at a cost and one I'm don't always feel comfortable paying. Today, I'm fairly confident that nothing we do online or our on our phones is truly private.

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Posted in Cleaning Services Post Date 07/19/2018


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