Big data is already unlocking knowledge about everything from voting patterns to cancer diagnosis, and has the potential to provide remarkable levels of detail about human behaviour. It could eventually provide a level of knowledge about us that would have previously only been thought possible with psychic abilities.
However, for some big data represents a threat. In particular it raises serious privacy concerns both from a data collection point of view and in terms of behaviour prediction.
Even the crime-catching technology would raise significant moral concerns should it come to fruition, as it would raise the issue of how pre-criminals would be punished given that they have not actually committed a crime.Share
Cukier likened big data to nuclear technology, in that it has both beneficial and damaging applications.
“I think there are thousands of ways big data could inflict incredible harm on society,” he said, adding that the big data industry needed to “keep going” with the technology despite the likely problems. (Read more.)