PRIVACY AND BIG DATA
Everything You Need to Know About Our Book and Privacy
(Terence and Mary) recently wrote a book (buy it
here) on how big data has
impacted privacy (or a lack of it) in the digital age and are
currently working on an update that will be available in March 2013. After many
webcasts, podcasts, and radio interviews, where we talked about the
many aspects of privacy and what individuals and companies should be
thinking about, we decided to set up this page as a clearing house
for all things related to our book. It goes without saying (but we
will), that privacy is a hot topic. We’ve certainly written about it
a great deal through our blog and now, our book, and wanted to
provide you with a central resource for webcast and podcast replays,
upcoming events, specific posts from our blog that focus on data
privacy and its first cousin, data security, and answers to the
questions we are most frequently asked. To make this easier on you,
here is a list of quick links to topics:
Much of what constitutes Big Data is information about us. Through our
online activities, we leave an easy-to-follow trail of digital footprints
that reveal who we are, what we buy, where we go, and much more. This
eye-opening book explores the raging privacy debate over the use of personal
data, with one undeniable conclusion: our data is the most valuable
commodity on the market today—more valuable than gold. Go to
Amazon’s Privacy and Big
Data page to read reviews or buy the book.
would two executives from a growing startup in the big data and analytics
industry write a book on digital privacy? Well, in our business we deal with
the issues of privacy every day as we support industries like financial
services, retail, health care, and social media. So we’ve seen up close how
the digital footprints we leave in our daily lives can be easily mashed up
and, through expertise and technology, deliver startling accurate pictures
of our behavior as well as increasingly accurate predictions of our future
actions. Far more is known today about us as individuals than ever before.
How organizations, businesses, and government agencies use this information
to track and predict our behavior is becoming one of the fundamental issues
of the 21st century.
As leaders in a company that provides tools to make this possible, it is
important for us to understand the issues of privacy as it applies to big
data sets, singularly and in aggregate. We must do what we can to make sure
that the significant benefits of big data analytics are maximized (consumer
choice, improved health care, protection from terrorism) while the negatives
are minimized (lack of privacy, political suppression, genetic
discrimination). Of course, we do this for the obvious moral reasons. But
there are practical ones as well: If we do not, we will lose the trust of
the consumers, the very people that we rely on for much of our data. Or as
Reid Hoffman put it at South by Southwest, companies should never “ambush
Why do we spend so much time writing and blogging about digital privacy
issues? As a company that is on the forefront of creating sophisticated
tools to analyze digital data, we are acutely aware of the powerful
technologies and techniques we—and others in our industry—are developing.
Data is the life blood of our industry. If we do not make an effort to
understand privacy concerns and bring self-regulation to the forefront, it
will disappear under the twin forces of individual distrust and
over-regulation. This is why we spend a lot of time thinking about what we
can do to ensure that our tools and expertise are used in ways that are
ethical and positive. The book is a way in which we can help our customers
and the public be proactive about privacy issues which, in turn, keeps us
all on the right path.
Links to upcoming, as well as replays (when they are available)--be sure
to check this section often as the list is regularly updated.
Hadoop World 2012, New York City
Date: October 23 - October 25, 2012
Place: New York Hilton
How Much Privacy Can We Really Expect?
We’ve looked at the many uses of data, and what governance is required.
But are our expectations of privacy realistic? Only a few years ago, pundits
cautioned us not to put our names on the Web; today, we check in when
travelling, telling the world when we’re away from our homes. Clearly,
expectations and societal norms shift. It’s not just our behavior that
changes privacy, though. Aggregation is easy, and seemingly innocuous data
sets, mined by cheap computing and new algorithms, can predict our buying
behavior or flag us as criminals. In this session, Terence Craig and Mary
Ludloff, authors of Privacy and Big Data, ask (and answer) the question:
What level of privacy do we really have in the digital age?
pii2011 Venture Forum
Date: November 15, 2011
Place: Quadrus Conference Center, Silicon Valley
The pii2011 Venture Forum will bring together leading tech executives,
investors, analysts, policy experts and entrepreneurs for an in-depth look
at the opportunities and challenges associated with the “pii” market.
Terence and Mary will be discussing the various privacy players and business
models driving the privacy economy.
Online Privacy and Protecting Our Personal Data
In this podcast with
Anna Farmery of The Engaging Brand, Terence discusses the many aspects
of privacy and whether privacy could become a competitive advantage for
those companies that are transparent about what data they collect and how
they use it.
- Strata and Hadoop World: Join the Data Revolution
Privacy & Big Data: Is there such a thing as privacy in the digital age?
Speaker: Mary Ludloff
During the first release of their book, Privacy and Big Data, authors
Terence Craig and Mary Ludloff looked at the privacy debate from a
number of different perspectives: the surprising ways in which data is
collected and used, the main privacy players and their business models,
as well as the evolution of the privacy eco-system. Now, as they work on
an update, the authors are attempting to answer whether there is such a
thing as privacy in the digital age and predicting the privacy end game.
In this fast paced webcast, the authors will cover this year's most
interesting privacy "events" and how they impact all of us, discuss
whether privacy is well on its way to becoming an endangered species,
and consider the possibilities of a privacy fallout via increased
regulation and silo'd big data sets.
Evolution from Private to Public: Is there privacy in the digital age?
Panelists: Jim Adler, danah boyd, Terence Craig, Natalie
Fonseca (moderator), Heather West
It is safe to say that the digital age has fundamentally changed all our
lives. Certainly, it has given us the ability to share more information with
more people (and more companies) than ever before. The explosion of personal
information is fueling new data-driven business models, calling into
question how we think about what's private and what's public. In this
webcast, a leading group of privacy panelists explore how the line between
private and public is blurring.
- Privacy and Big
Data: Is there privacy in the age of big data?
Terence Craig and Mary Ludloff
In this webcast, Terence Craig and Mary Ludloff,
authors of Privacy and Big Data, ask and answer this question: What level of
privacy do you really have in the digital age? Get their take on the privacy
debate from a number of different perspectives!
What does Privacy mean in the age of big data?
In this interview with O'Reilly Radar's Audrey Watters, Terence discusses
why data transparency trumps anonymization.
Posts about our book:
Posts on privacy:
Posts on data security:
Curation posts that cover privacy and/or data security:
interviews and webcasts we are often asked the same questions so we decided
to start a list of FAQs. If you have a specific question for us, drop us an
email, tweet, or comment on our blog and we will answer you and if it’s a
“good-to-know” question we will address it here as well!
What sites provide background or personal
information about me and how can I remove myself from these sites?
There are a number of what we call personal information
sites that aggregate a lot of data about you from different sources and
provide the information for free or for a fee.
Reddit has a great list of these sites AND provides information on
how to remove yourself from them. Keep in mind, though, that you while
you may be able to remove yourself from the site, your data (all the
information about you) is still on the net.
What are good sites or blogs to follow to keep up on
Okay—there are lots of sites, both U.S oriented and
international. Our favorites are:
American Civil Liberties
Union (ALCU), Electronic
Privacy Information Center (EPIC), and
Foundation (EFF). All of these sites have blogs and twitter feeds
that you can follow. And EPIC has done all of us a great service by
providing a pretty exhaustive
list of other privacy resources. Also, if you are interested in
keeping abreast of privacy legal issues in the U.S., the
a great blog that specifically focuses on this area.
What kinds of privacy tools are available and where
can I get them?
This is a tough one because there are so many of them available and
they are usually directed at one specific issue, like surfing
anonymously, HTML filters, or cookie blockers. That being said, our
friends at EPIC have created an
guide to privacy tools. Like them, we simply remind you that we do
not endorse any products or services.
We would like to continue the conversation with you. You can tweet us at
@terencecraig or @mludloff,
email us, or follow us on our blog –
Big Data Big
Analytics. Hope to hear from you soon.