The, Big Data, By Viktor Mayer Schonberger Essay

1803 Words Dec 4th, 2015 null Page
As presented in Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier’s novel’s Big Data, big data is “...the ability of society to harness information in novel ways to produce useful insights…” (2). The advent of new technology allows vast amounts of data to be accessed and collected. There is an overabundance of data on nearly everything, and this data is used to answer questions and provide a better understanding of the world, things that were difficult and time consuming to do before the emergence of big data. Big data offers many enticing positives. For example, we have the ability to predict the onset of the flu, the emergence of cancer, or even apartment fires (Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier 1, 195). Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier, however, suggest that along with the positives and benefits, big data poses numerous risks. Most notably, we risk the loss of one of our fundamental rights, the right to our personal privacy (Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier 153). Although the risks to personal privacy are great and something to be concerned about, this loss of privacy, ironically, leads to a number of benefits. Peter Singer, Australian moral philosopher, agrees with Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier in his essay “Visible Man.” Singer claims that with the loss of personal privacy, we have the potential to strengthen our democracy and create a better government (Singer 32). His argument revolves around the idea that although we may lose privacy, there are gains that may be greater and outweigh the…

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