Big Data and Cambridge Analytica: 5 Big Picture Truths

You’ve surely seen the countless headlines about Cambridge Analytica. The firm’s use of personal data from Facebook has prompted outraged claims and counterclaims. Calls for investigation, a #DeleteFacebook movement, Mark Zuckerberg called to Congress to testify.

The story, clearly, has a long way to run. But allow me to leave the particulars of Cambridge and zoom up to the bigger picture about Big Data. Forget Facebook, forget that awkward video of Cambridge executives. What this affair reveals about ascendancy of data mining has far deeper implications than the immediate headlines. 1. This is the role that Big Data plays in our lives. It’s nothing new or even slightly unusual.
At the center of all the outrage about Cambridge is this: a Big Data company gathered data and then used it to persuade consumers, or at least attempt to.

Author: James Maguire


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