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How safe do you feel browsing the internet on your personal devices?

Do you ever get the feeling Google knows you?

Are the advertisements online strangely similar to your unique tastes?

This is the result of unprotected Big Data sitting vulnerable to large  companies such as Google or Facebook. Big companies have complete access to your online activity, making note of your age, where you live/work and what your interests are. If this sort of personal information is just floating around waiting for companies to grab it, who is to say a hacker won’t snatch it first? With the amount of online activity our generation takes part in, the resulting data produced is through the roof or should I say, cloud. The longer data stays in the cloud and the more it collects, the easier it is for hackers to piece together the information and ultimately know everything about you.

As a result of this lack of privacy there have been an increase in online security breaches and personal data stolen, causing a surge of interest in developing privacy products. Aral Balkman has recently introduced the idea for a phone that would collect all of its data, securing it from other sources. Although this is just an idea, it is the beginning of a market, researchers believe, will become very big.

Digital Communications specialist Dr. Wicker believes privacy could be a huge marketing tool for companies. Companies ensuring their customers’ data will only be held for one day rather than upwards of a year are more likely to gain the trust of customers interested in being protected. Improving trust and customer loyalty in turn creates more revenue. Which company would you go with, the one that promises ” We will protect your personal information and here is how” or the company that doesn’t address where the personal data goes at all?

I personally would like to know where my information is going and who has access to it, but is this something we would or should pay for? Companies who want to better protect their data will need to pay some hefty costs upfront, but sources within the industry predict that these defenses will soon pay for themselves. One way to keep the digital society open yet provide more security is compartmentalism. This is system that controls which individuals see certain data and enforce stricter privacy policies all within the company. This is a nice compromise for companies unsure about new technologies and their costs.

What do you think? Is it worth it to spend money on devices or companies that will better protect your personal information or wait and hope your data never gets used against you?

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