As Big Data Gets Bigger, Personal Privacy Becomes a Global Concern


Welcome to the Monday edition of the IP news roundup. Today’s headlines focus on big data and cloud:

  • In the era of big data, can digital privacy and business growth coexist? An article on Network World compared European vs. American attitudes towards using personal data to achieve business growth and stated that Europe is much more advanced when it comes to protecting people’s privacy in the digital age. The article said, “Whether people realize it or not, big data is not privacy-friendly even when it is supposedly anonymized or contains obfuscated PII (Personally Identifiable Information) data.” The article also featured highlights from Microsoft’s keynote at the IAPP European Data Protection Congress 2012. During the keynote, Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch said not only that we must focus on protecting people’s privacy with regard to big data, but also that people “need an updated notion of privacy and data protection principles, one that shifts from a focus on secrecy to a more nuanced approach, based on reasonable consumer expectations, context and a greater emphasis on how personal information is used.” For more highlights from the keynote, see the Network World article.
  • How to get your legal department to say “yes” to cloud. Once you find a cloud service that meets your IT and business needs, the final challenge is getting your cloud provider’s contract past your legal department. A Computerworld article offered insights into legal’s key cloud concerns – such as the fact that many cloud providers will not accept liability if something goes wrong with the service. The article also offered advice on how IT and legal can work together to ensure that a cloud service meets the needs of both and doesn’t put the company at risk. 
  • Is it time to break your cloud addiction? A TechCrunch article that explored the dangers of cloud lock-in compared enterprise cloud services to “Hotel California”, because “Once you pick a provider you can check out anytime you want – but you can never leave.” This is because once many enterprises develop custom cloud solutions, they are stuck with the provider, as it’s too difficult to get all of their custom features from someone else. The article went on to cite an example of this – Netflix’s relationship with Amazon. According to the article, “Netflix uses Amazon infrastructure, competes with Amazon to deliver streaming video, and pays Amazon massive amounts of cash to handle its data. The fact that Netflix is forking over its data and cash to its competitor ought to raise eyebrows. And not only does Netflix seem to accept this arrangement, it promotes it.” For more information on this relationship, see the TechCrunch article.
  • And finally … 90% of the world’s data has been accumulated within the past two years. An article on Search Engine Journal explored the immensity of the world’s data and used this IBM statistic to show just how fast big data is growing. The article goes on to cite other mind-bending statistics, such as the world will soon have 1,000 zettabytes of data (if we haven’t already reached this number). And if you were to convert a single zettabyte into physical data, you would fill 10 billion trucks or 500,000 aircraft carriers.

What is your take on today’s news? Feel free to share your opinions below.

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