Big Data is the collection of data sets so large and complex that even storing and sorting becomes difficult. The analysis of big data is big bucks and your privacy is tied to its future.
Big data can refer to a lot of different applications that include research and knowledge to benefit all mankind, but these noble and glorious ideas are not what people talk about when they mention big data. Big data is nearly a curse word–only spoken at low breath in some tech circles. It puts a foul taste in your mouth invoking images of a file that contains all your purchases, preferences, history, and information about your personal life. The insurers, banks, and credit card companies know everything about you!
I am embellishing, but only a little. Companies want to know everything about their potential customers in order to build the best product profile possible. Corporations exist to make money and to sell. Any information that helps them achieve that purpose is valuable for them. Modern technology has allowed market and product researchers to obtain massive amounts of information that they barely know what to do with.
As database functions and algorithms improve, it will be easier to make profitable use of what is being collected. Search queries and data mining will become more sophisticated and efficient. The power of computing technology has been growing rapidly over the past decade, but the advancement of its use and application has been slower. New languages and development platforms have to be created to improve the user experience and create new functions and tools.
With the closer integration of technology into daily life and the continued growth and popularity of social media, big data will also become more organically and intimately connected to the human experience. Whether this relationship will be good or bad is difficult to say, but maybe it will make everyone a little more honest and open.
I doubt big data corporations will ever really care about the people. The only hope for the future is the software engineers. If groups of programmers come together to create algorithms that help people, then maybe such a movement could counteract the aggressive invasions of privacy that people are expected to tolerate.