infoTECH Feature

June 14, 2017

The Ethics of Data Retrieval and Storage

Big data is a huge part of the economic growth happening right now. Companies use that data to make predictions about the future based on previous customer behavior. There has been huge growth in the amount of information that companies know about someone. Some people think that this poses an ethical issue about what to do with the data that is stored. There are some entities that try to buy this data for their own causes. Companies today must answer these questions if they are going to satisfy what customers are looking for. Customers want to know that their data is going to be safe when they shop somewhere.

The Growth of Big Data

There are many companies making a lot of money in the big data industry. This has a variety of benefits for companies. Not only do they get to know customers better, but big data can be used to predict future behavior as well. This is essential for large companies that are trying to invest as much money as possible to drive sales and profits in the future. Many people today are excited about all of the options that it gives them in business. The question is really about how data is retrieved and stored.

Privacy Rights

One of the big discussions going on today in society is the role of privacy rights in a world run by technology. The government already has many tracking methods for people who they want to track. Not only that, but they are willing to use this information to their benefit. Companies are faced with a dilemma. They know that this information is valuable, but customers should be able to consent to its use in some form. There are a lot of forms of big data where a name is not attached to the number. Instead, the customer transactions just have an ID of some sort. This is much better in the minds of many consumers.

Predictive Technology

Many retail companies have used predictive technology for years to try and grow their customer base. In many stages of life, there are predictable patterns of purchasing that retail companies intuitively understand. It is important to target customers with advertising at these stages in order to maximize sales. This is a great example of the power of big data in the retail industry. At the next level of data, companies can predict these changes before it actually happens. There are a lot of people who are worried about all of the issues that can come from this type of technology. Not only that, but many customers do not like feeling like companies are spying on them in order to make money.

Data Storage

Online security is more important than ever when it comes to data storage. There are a lot of hackers in the world today who want to get their hands on data to sell to others. Data about people is very valuable on the black market. Data scraping is one of the ways that you can get a lot of information off of the Internet or a database quickly. If companies are using and storing big data, security is an investment that you cannot go without. There are many cases of companies getting hacked and customer information leaking out. This is a huge issue that can cause a big public relations nightmare for any business.

With all of the changes that are going on in the industry, companies must continue to adapt to the needs of their customers. Not only that, but companies now face an ethical dilemma on what to do with the data that they are able to retrieve.

Edited by Alicia Young

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