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Question: Should there be a restriction on how much data technology companies are allowed to collect on you?

This article was extremely interesting and I highly recommend that everyone reads it. It starts out by defining what personal data is and then explores who buys and sells it. This section of the article talks about how data brokers collect data on every single person in America. Due to the fact that there are very few regulations around the collection and selling of data, data brokers take our data and sell it to big companies. These companies use this data in order to advertise their product in the most efficient way possible. This is all made possible by algorithms programmed into computers that get better and better at what they do every day. In addition to this, the article talks about the history of personal data collection and how it started in the 1990s. And lastly, the future of personal data collection is analyzed. The article states that the way that personal data is being analyzed is scary due to the fact that incredibly important decisions are being made from it. For example, who qualifies for health care or who should be let out on bail is all influenced by incredibly precise algorithms. In my opinion, personal data collection is a huge problem within our society and people need to start taking notice about it. 

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December 23, 2020 1:48 am

Cecilia, I loved your response! I liked how you shared a time when you read about the impacts of Big Data and how you ended your response with valuable pressing questions. This shows you were engaged as a reader and truly care about the subject Gus has presented. Big Data is a pressing worldwide issue that many people are aware of but don’t understand the full effects/ consequences. I would highly recommend watching the movie “the social dilemma” in which covers the process of how data is being stored/ stolen to better promote big companies and their products. It shows how the world has changed and how millions across the globe are so focused on their phones they are throwing away their valuable lives to social media. It is a huge problem and needs to be addressed. I like your question “Is there anything we can do to stop big data collection?” and if Gus “had any potential solutions to the big data collection” because those are important questions to ask in order to help dig at the core of the problem.
Thank you Cecilia for having such an engaged response! I look forward to your and Gus’s future responses!

October 9, 2020 6:30 pm

I think this point is very interesting. It got me thinking about how many companies are making money off of our personal data. We rarely think about it when we click on a product or search a certain item, even if we don’t buy it, the products surrounding the topic keep showing up. I found this article from Forbes talking about how WE become the product. It would be cool to see how that factors into the algorithms as well as what you mentioned about healthcare and bail. I also wonder how much this what seems like random data plays into decisions that we, as the consumers, don’t know. It would be interesting to know how we can learn more about big data to help us, or, for the more paranoid, how to stop it.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2019/06/27/how-do-tech-companies-make-money-from-our-personal-data/#7c878f194788

October 9, 2020 3:26 pm

When reading the article that you provided, I remembered another article that I have read about big data, where these algorithms took the information that they know and fill in the gaps based on similar information about other people. I think the main example from the article was that people who ordered fries at this certain place, were more intelligent and do better in schools than people who don’t. And this was all based on similar personalities and behaviors that the algorithm deemed as intelligent. At the end of your post, you mention concern about the collection of big data, and I was wondering if you had any potential solutions to the big data collection. Is this just the normal path of integrating our world with technology? Is there anything we can do to stop big data collection? Is there any situation where big data collection could help better our society?

I would love to hear more about your opinion on this and look forward to more of your writing.

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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