The Data Conundrum

Process Post #9

The internet is a frightening entity, and the scope of the internet and its data mining capabilities are incomprehensible. Just as the Pod Academy reading from week 9 talks about, we each leave a digital trail of breadcrumbs online that highlight our movements.

We tell these applications and sites our names, ages, addresses, work history, interests, financial information, and we expect them to keep passwords to private information safe. Every aspect of our lives is online, and vulnerable to hackers and those who would use our data for malicious reasons. At the same time, I think this is unavoidable for most people in first world countries.

According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, 88% of households have one or more mobile phone subscriptions, and mobile phones and the internet, in general, are a vital part of society. We use our devices as a map, as an instant communication device, to meet new romantic interests, and to do work for our careers. Disconnection is very difficult and in many cases, an unrealistic goal. Devices and the internet have become integral parts of our society. If you want to have a job, they need to be able to reach you, so in most cases, you have to own a mobile phone. This is just one small example among thousands.

We’ve come to a point in the data mining system where we don’t even have to give permission to have our data taken. If our friends give permission, our information may be mined as well (Hu, 2020). As a result, I think that we have to accept that our data is being mined and just minimize what information could be accessed, and minimize the apps and sites that we give permission to. I try to make my digital footprint small, but I’m not willing to sacrifice the functionality of the digital world. I’ll use the internet as I need to, and be careful as I do so.

Resources

Government of Canada, C. R.-television and T. C. (C. R. T. C. (2019, July 29). Communications monitoring Report 2018. https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/policymonitoring/2018/cmr1.htm.

Hu, Margaret. (2020). Cambridge Analytica’s black box. Big Data & Society, 7(2), 205395172093809. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053951720938091

Pod Academy. 2016. “Digital breadcrumbs: The data trail we leave behind us.” http://podacademy.org/podcasts/digital-breadcrumbs-our-data-trail/

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