Here’s a scary thought:
It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, chances are pretty good that it’s being recorded in one way or another. The internet, for example, contains much more information about us than we would care to realise, and any of that information can be accessed, given the right amount of motivation.
Such is the diabolical nature of an exceedingly connected world. Everything we do on our computers or smartphones or tablets all contributes to Big Data, a huge, expanding tome of information.
The internet is a great resource for those looking to gather said information (we can now stare directly into any nightmarish, glowing rectangle and watch the collapse of civilization in real-time), but it also poses a problem, in that this information - about us - can be mined by organisations or individuals, and used however they see fit.
See, we surrender our rights to a certain amount of privacy when we take to the internet, and particularly social media, and this allows other parties a certain amount of access to our ‘personal’ lives.
Big Data knows where we are, where we shop, where we eat, the routes we drive, etc. What we put on social media moves into the public domain, and unfortunately for you – Out Drunk With My Boyz At Hooters Three Hours Before My Car Crash Group Selfie – we don’t have much control over that.
Imagine what insurance companies could do with all that information? To pick your exercise routines and diet apart before granting your life insurance? To look into your genetic code and medicinal habits?
Luckily for us, in South Africa we have laws.