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IoT and #BigData – Who Owns All the Data? | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #API
How many websites have you created accounts on?
By: Ed Featherston
Oct. 10, 2016 12:30 AM
Internet of Things and Big Data - Who Owns All the Data?
We've been doing it for years, decades for some. How many websites have you created accounts on? Your bank, your credit card companies, social media sites, hotels and travel sites, online shopping sites, and that's just the start. We do it often without even thinking about it, quickly entering our personal information, our data, in a plethora of systems. Sometimes we're not even aware of the information we are providing. It could be very personal information (think of the security questions you provide answers to for protecting your information on these systems), to information about your behavior, your interests (websites visited, internet search topics). While possibly concerning from a privacy perspective, you had some level of control. For the backend systems involved, the volume and variety of the data was a manageable situation. The tradeoff between privacy and convenience is something we, for the most part, found acceptable.
Not just about personal data
Then came mobile and Internet of Things
The business-to-business side is not without impacts as well. RFID chips in inventory that is shipping between and through partner, smart manufacturing facilities, like smart homes, are providing huge volumes of information about their operation without even potentially realizing it.
Privacy & ownership vs the world
Information is an asset
While not discussed in the article, it raised another thought for me from a business-to-business perspective. What if my business partner is acquired by one of my competitors? Would it provide them insights into my operations, and help them possibly derive a competitive advantage with that information?
If data passes through your system, you have a responsibility
In this fast-paced, rapidly changing technology environment we live in today, we are providing and collecting huge amounts of data from an ever-increasing number of potential sources, whether they be mobiles, wearables, our vehicles, or any other of a myriad of sources we haven't even thought about. This data is traveling through the nebulous cloud environment we all love to talk about, and traveling through the ether to its final destination. Our challenge as technologists is to understand the implications, challenges, and tradeoffs involved in that world, and be able to articulate those to the business so that the proper balance between business needs, data ownership and privacy, convenience, et al, can be achieved.
It's a difficult and delicate balance. There is no one right answer, no one size fits all as to which tradeoffs are acceptable. Ultimately, that is a business decision, based on the goals and needs of the organization, and could change over time. It's walking a tightrope over a shark infested tank of water. Our job as technologists is to try and help the business understand the risks and tradeoffs so they can traverse that tightrope and get to the other side safely.
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