Companies that deal with personal information (meaning all companies, really) need to focus much more often than they have on the history of privacy practices in their industries. Although neither report (from the federal government) defines in depth what it means by the word “context,” to me the message seems to be: do not push the privacy envelope.
Then again, maybe I’m the one being gullible. A much more knowledgeable and computer savvy friend, Dawn Wolthuis responds
”Big Data” is somewhat a marketing term for managing data in a way that is scalable for modern software applications (using data navigation, for example, as well as non-first normal form collections) rather than modeling data as relations and doing only set-based SQL access. So, this article might be backed by relational database promoters who are trying to muddy the waters so that if a tech person suggests they look into Big Data solutions then another business person might think “oh yeah I just read how bad that is, so I will do what I can to block this initiative”. In other words, this article is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
And wouldn’t you know, the next day, there’s a second article from the Harvard Business Review, Can Big Data Smoke Out the Silent Majority? On one hand this reinforces Wolthuis’ point, the data is already there, waiting for the connections. We only have better tools. Well, I suppose that’s a relief. Still . . .