Much of what constitutes Big Data is information about us. Through our online activities, we leave an easy-to-follow trail of digital footprints that reveal who we are, what we buy, where we go, and much more. This eye-opening book explores the raging privacy debate over the use of personal data, with one undeniable conclusion: once data's been collected, we have absolutely no control over who uses it or how it is used.
Personal data is the hottest commodity on the market today—truly more valuable than gold. We are the asset that every company, industry, non-profit, and government wants. Privacy and Big Data introduces you to the players in the personal data game, and explains the stark differences in how the U.S., Europe, and the rest of the world approach the privacy issue.
You'll learn about:
Collectors: social networking titans that collect, share, and sell user data
Users: marketing organizations, government agencies, and many others
Data markets: companies that aggregate and sell datasets to anyone
Regulators: governments with one policy for commercial data use, and another for providing security
Chapter 1 The Perfect Storm
Through the Looking Glass
Welcome to the Big Data Age
From Pieces of a Puzzle to a Complete Picture: The Future Is Now
Advertising as the Big Bad Wolf
Big Brother and Big Data Around the World
At the Crossroads: Privacy versus Security and Safety
Chapter 2 The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age
What Does Privacy Mean in the Digital Age?
Privacy in the U.S.: The Right to Be Let Alone
Privacy in Europe: Honor and Dignity
Privacy is Always Viewed through Some Sort of Prism
Privacy Without Borders
A Clash of Values
Networked Privacy: The “I” Versus the Collective “We”
Chapter 3 The Regulators
A (Very) Brief History of “Digital” Privacy Regulation
Privacy Regulatory Models—Complimentary or Contradictory?
The U.S. Regulatory Model—A Bottom Up Approach
The European Union Model—A Top Down Approach
A Quick Tour of Other Country’s Privacy Laws
Privacy Versus Security and Safety
Data Never Dies
Enlightened or Otherwise, We All Have Skin in This Game
Chapter 4 The Players
Meet the Players
A (Very) Brief History of Online Advertising
Intellectual Property Rights, Trusted Computing, and Privacy
Pushing the Privacy Envelope All the Way to the Bank
Unprecedented Access Further Erodes Privacy Expectations
Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle
Those that Protect and Serve in the Name of Privacy
The Rising Privacy Economy
While the Players are Playing, Consumer Privacy Continues to Erode
Chapter 5 Making Sense of It All
The Heart of the Matter: Commodity Versus Right
We Are All Connected
What Are We Willing to Give Up for Safety and Security?
The Truth About Data: Once It’s Out There, It’s Hard to Control
Terence Craig is the CEO and CTO of PatternBuilders, a “big data” analytics services and solution provider that helps organizations across industries understand and improve their operations with advanced analytics. Terence has an extensive background in building, implementing, and selling analytically-driven enterprise and SaaS applications across such diverse domains as enterprise resource planning (ERP), professional services automation (PSA), and semi-conductor process control in both public and private companies. With over 20 years of experience in executive and technical management roles with leading-edge technology companies, Terence brings a unique and innovative view of what is needed—from both an operational and technology perspective—to build a world class hosted analytics platform designed to improve companies’ and organizations’ profitability and efficiencies. He is also a frequent speaker, blogger, and “commenter” on technology, startups, analytics, data security, and data privacy ethics and policy.
Mary Ludloff is Vice President of Marketing for PatternBuilders, a “big data” analytics services and solutions provider. Mary is an innovative marketing executive with more than 20 years of experience in enterprise software. She brings an in-depth understanding of how to develop and implement strategic program initiatives that span marketing disciplines—ranging from the traditional corporate and marketing fields to the latest developments in digital marketing. Through her work at PatternBuilders and other companies in the business intelligence and data warehousing space, she also brings a deep understanding of supply chain management issues, the use of business intelligence tools in data warehousing and analytic application efforts, and the impact of big data analytics on data privacy and security.
The cover image of Privacy and Big Data, which depicts well-to-do businessmen playing cards in a smoke-filled room, is particularly well-chosen. Just as the salesmen in David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross fight to get good leads, contemporary analysts struggle to glean every bit of useful information out of the torrent of information we generate as we interact with the world. Not all analysts are as unethical as Mamet's characters, but it's easy to treat individuals' information as a commodity when their information is available in bulk. This threat prompts governments at all levels to pass privacy laws, which are one focus of the book.
The authors, Terence Craig and Mary E. Ludloff are (respectively) CEO and VP of Marketing for the data analysis firm PatternBuilders. In Privacy and Big Data, they take a big-picture approach when describing data collection, usage, and privacy laws. They focus on the United States and Europe, but also provide links to the privacy laws of other countries, notably Canada. I read the ebook version of the book, so I was able to follow active links in the PDF file to read the sources on which the authors based their analysis. This strategy raises the issue of links going stale, which has already resulted in one erratum reported on the book's oreilly.com page, but the authors provide copious endnotes and an online search should allow readers to find information on any topic where the original link no longer functions. O'Reilly also updates their ebooks regularly and makes the updated versions available for free to individuals who purchased them from the oreilly.com site.
Craig and Ludloff highlight the roles of four players in the privacy realm:
Collectors, which include social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn
Users, which are marketing organizations, government agencies, and other entities that use the data in their work
Data markets, which are companies that aggregate and sell data to all interested parties
Regulators, which are government agencies and private organizations where the government allows some level of self-regulation
I'd characterize Privacy and Big Data as a very well-crafted executive briefing book. It's a quick read, but the authors still manage to cover significant ground and provide a very useful framework in its 80-plus pages. I hesitate to call the book an "airplane read," not because you couldn't read it on a cross-country flight (you could quite easily), but because most books of that ilk repeat one or two good ideas ad nauseum for 200 pages. These authors make good use of the reader's time by laying out the privacy story and providing links for further investigation. Their roles as senior executives in their company give them a useful perspective on what their readers need to know now and what should be made available for later study.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend