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Definition of big data
Big data means essentially datasets that are difficult to manage(size, diversity, complexity). They're datasets that are very hard to analyze and draw data from. Big data is also subjective; what is considered big data today is not necesarily big data tomorrow. Data may also become big data. Datasets that are seemingly small, may become big data when used in conjunction with common software: Scale a database up enough, and most commercial programs cant manage it anymore.
Ethics & big data
When data is being collected off anonymous statistics, for example marketing data, privacy is often not that big of a deal. However, the moment you start collecting personal data, the whole scenario changes. Individuals may feel violated if they're unwittingly part of a research or data collection. This means that when collecting personal data, the collecting must happen with the user acnowledgement: Let the user decide what to share, and leave it at that.
Users need to feel that theyre in control. This means letting the user decide how public her information is and how it's handled. Customer privacy should be a quiding principle when designing systems that collect vast amounts of personal data.
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