- September 18, 2018
- Posted by: admin
- Category: General Knowledge
The government’s “Digital India” Plan that aims to connect 2.5 lakh villages to the Internet by 2019 and to bring Wi-Fi access to 2.5 lakh schools will open up greatest opportunities for beneficial use of data. For instance, it would become easier for government to come up with social welfare schemes; it would enable digital marketing and many more. However, Big Data analytics and automated algorithm-based processing of zettabytes of information have a flip side too; which is fear of individual liberties being compromised as state and non state actors would get easy access to billions of personal data and sensitive personal data which can be subject to behavioral micro targeting and pshychological warfare as seen in Facebook and Cambridge Analytica case.
If the data collected by a Multinational company is stored in the country where it is based, the data becomes available to the highest bidders among corporates and the governments of such nations which opens gates for them to make inroads into privacy of individual, thereby can impinge on informational and decisional privacy. Even if the primary collectors of data may not engage in this conduct, hostile foreign governments or rogue multinationals could forcefully or secretly access these personal data in order to affect policies of a nation. Such scenario was witnessed in alleged Russian involvement in US elections.
The other problem of such huge data and their analytics can be the downfall of advertising sector in the domestic country and concentration of wealth by big giants who create a monopoly in targeted digital marketing. The advertising revenue has started to flow outside the country to overseas multinationals. It has been seen that due to the targeted marketing trend, consumer’s money is being redistributed across the spectrum of U.S. businesses.
However, on the positive side, using machine learning and artificial intelligence data captured from unstructured sources like social media, high-resolution satellite imagery and drones can provide policymakers save hundreds of lives from impacts of disasters by giving early warnings, and help assess resilience by building risk informed infrastructure etc.
It can be said that big data despite so many advantages has the ability to put the privacy of individuals at peril, which might lead to mind colonization of individuals at large scale. The state shall play the role of the regulator for individuals to enjoy the benefits of technological advancement without compromising their right to privacy which is fundamental to inalienable right to liberty.