Democratization of Big Data
There were many things in the section of “The Cultural Functions of Computation” by David Golumbia, which I found very interesting. However, it was not until the very end that I think Golumbia made his biggest point, and it is this point that I connected with the most. His point was that computers should be part of a broader democratization of our society that comes along with technology. According to Golumbia however that will not happen because of our cultures propensity towards authoritarianism and “corporate fascism.”
The thing that struck me most about this conclusion is that many people feel that their privacy is more at risk by the democratization of big data. I read an article in Forbes called “The Chilling Implications of Democratizing Big Data: Facebook Graph Search Is Only The Beginning.” The article discussed how when there were only a few big data mining companies, the privacy concerns for the consumer were fairly small. However, as the “corporate fascism” that Golumbia refers to is being broken down, and more companies are retrieving this data mining information, the privacy risks are much greater. According to the article as more companies have gotten this information the less obscurity people have been afforded, and the less secure our personal information is.
Now, I’m not sure I believe in authoritarian rule of large corporate entities, but I have always believed in letting the people who are the most knowledgeable and capable handle particular aspects of business. If we allow too many people who don’t know what they are doing gain access to our private information then there will be more instances where data mining information gets out. I also know that democratization of technology has created a society of virtually zero privacy, which I’m sure is not what Golumbia had in mind either.