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Big data mining: Who owns your social network data?

Paul Krill | March 9, 2011
An attractive application of Hadoop and other Big Data technologies is to analyze users' social activities, sometimes without their express knowledge

The issue is not just about privacy. One of the tenets of Big Data is to analyze data from multiple sources to identify trends, business opportunities, market shifts, potential customers, customer sentiment, and a lot more. When Big Data tools analyze information available on the Web, do they really have the right to do so without permission of the owner?

"It really depends," Saad argues. "If you're publishing on the public Internet, I think the social contract is such that people expect their data to be polled and crunched and indexed and used." On the other hand, "it's a little difference when Facebook, for example [is] expected to be a private network and it continues to push the boundary of what part of your information is made public. That's when it's violating the social contract."

 

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