The Ethical Dilemmas Of Collecting Data And The Consequential Revision Of Commodities, Culture And The Politics Of Representations Definitions

1969 words - 8 pages

In today’s society, there is a growing amount of people whose data is being collected through different mediums within their everyday lives. This information is also known as big data; great amounts of data collected through various forms into large data systems. Ed Dumbill (2012) claims the input data is collected through systems such as “chatter from social networks, web server logs, traffic flow sensors, satellite imagery, broadcast audio streams, banking transactions, MP3s of rock music, the content of web pages, scans of government documents, GPS trails, telemetry from automobiles, financial market data, the list goes on”. The data is then stored within large data systems that are both restricted and highly accessible to certain individuals and groups. Many companies, who have increasing accessibility to big data, have been using this information to understand the wants and needs of their target group for the sole purpose of monetary or political profit. Big data analytics can reveal insights hidden previously by data too costly to process, such as peer influence among customers, revealed by analyzing shoppers’ transactions, social and geographical data (SOURCE – online article ed dumbill). As a result, people’s information or data has become assets to companies, being regarded as property to be bought and sold to between companies. However, this has put forward the following primary ethical dilemmas surrounding human rights: the right to informed consent and the right to personal data. In addition to the creation of ethical dilemmas, the collection of human data has brought about a need for a revision of definitions. Commodities are known as a raw material or primary agricultural product that can be bought and sold. Therefore, as a result of human data as an asset to companies being used, bought and sold, there is a need to redefine commodities. Yet, so and so remark that culture needs to be redefined as well. This is due to -----. Thus, I argue that the collection of big data is the basis of many ethical dilemmas that breach human rights to privacy and a voice. Moreover, as a result of marketing human’s information, the definitions of commodity, culture and the politics of representation are involuntarily required to redefine in order to incorporate humans as an asset to be used, bought and sold.

The Collection of Data and Ethical Dilemmas
To begin, the collection and use of big data has brought about multiple ethical issues regarding human rights. Most companies utilize this information to determine the characteristics, wants and needs of members in society as possible consumers of their product. Randall Foster (2002), in his article Customer relationship management: Has Customer Understanding Finally Become an Attainable Commodity?, mentions customer relationship management solutions has become a $7 million dollar business. These management solutions, which are based from big data systems, have become increasingly popular throughout...

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