Is Data the New Oil?

Data is everywhere and its growing constantly. Its used in a multitude of ways and most of the time we don’t even realize it. From directing your advertisements to suggestions by your Smart Devices. It is no longer being deleted but being stored for future reference and analysis so it can start to predict you! Influencing your purchases and sometime even your decisions.

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How is your data being used?

I don’t want to scare you but rather inform you so that you are aware when you give your data away. Whether it be on Social Media or Shopping. I would always ask myself, do I trust the company or person I am sharing it with. Just like you make a business decision would you want to work with someone you don’t trust in my mind it is the same thing.

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Below are 11 uses of data sourced from Mental Flos.

1. It’s used for targeted ads. 

Websites use your data—the topics you search for, the websites you visit, the links you “like” on social media, and so forth—to create a profile of your interests which they use to choose ads especially for you. If you’ve ever purchased a new pair of shoes or simply browsed a few styles online, only to start noticing ads for those products on your sidebar, that’s no coincidence. Websites are picking up on everything you search for in order to design a personalized advertising experience just for you. 

2. Scientists study it. 

Advertisers aren’t the only ones who want your data, however. Social scientists have uses for it, too. Social media is a rich field for social scientists, who collect and aggregate data on what we decide to share, post, like, and so on, in order to better observe an array of contemporary social trends. For instance, in one 2014 study, a group of researchers teamed up with a major social media website to study how the types of posts users viewed on social media (categorized as “happy” or “sad”) affected the kinds of information they shared in turn, using the online profiles of almost 700,000 of the website’s users to conduct their study. 

3. Websites use it for internal research.

Many websites use their users’ data to conduct internal research. They might study the links you click on, the media you share, or how much time you spend on a given page, in order to optimize the user experience for everyone. Your online behaviour might result in tweaks to a website’s design or help inspire new features.

4. Companies sell your data.

Your data is more valuable than you likely realize. In fact, there’s a whole economy in place to buy and sell your online information. Data brokers collect your online data—everything from your name and address to your income and general internet activity—and sell it to other brokers or businesses.

5. Advertisers use it to create ‘consumer categories.’

Most of the time, when brokers sell your data, it ends up snapped up by businesses who use it to study consumer behaviour and create ever-more-refined targeted ads for everyone. They do this by studying huge chunks of aggregated data in order to create “consumer categories,” like “pet owner,” “sports fan,” or “video gamer.” Based on your data, and the data of others, they identify the characteristics that most often align with each category, from age and income to shared interests. 

6. Insurance companies analyse it.

Like advertisers, insurance companies have been known to purchase and study our online data, using it to set rates and premiums. Some companies may even go as far as to snoop on an individual customer’s social media pages in an attempt to confirm or deny claims.  

7. Thieves use it to steal your identity… 

While some of the activity we’ve mentioned so far might be a bit creepy, it’s all legal. But there are also plenty of ways your data could be used illegally. Thieves can use the data you share online to steal your identity, using your name and credit card information to make purchases of their own. While it’s nearly impossible not to put any of that information online (especially if you’re an online shopaholic), it’s important to be careful what websites you use and make sure your passwords are secure in order to avoid having your personal information stolen.

8. …or plan real life burglaries. 

While most of us know not to send strangers our bank information or passwords, we can still get a little bit sloppy when it comes to the information we share on social media. Thieves can use information you share online to plan real life burglaries. Posting publicly about going on a trip lets potential thieves know your home is being left unguarded. 

9. Social media sites use it to help you find friends.

Social media websites use the information you share, including your hometown and current location, job, and school, to connect you to people you might know. They also use your existing social network—people you’ve already connected with online—to find common connections.

10. Apps use it to snoop on your whereabouts. 

If you have a smartphone, there’s a good chance you’re sharing data without even realizing it. A lot of downloaded phone apps track our whereabouts even when we’re not actively using those programs. And it’s not just location-based apps like maps that record location data—games, social media apps, and even utilities like flashlights record users’ locations. According to one study, smartphone users who used a range of phone apps normally for two weeks had their location recorded up to 5000 times in just 14 days.

11. It’s being stored—forever. 

We’re all accustomed to entering our information online and quickly moving on without a second thought. But when we type our credit card information on a shopping site, or share our name, address, or phone number with our email provider, that information is often being stored—indefinitely. For the most part, websites that save your information won’t do much with it without your permission. But some sites with poor security and unencrypted data can end up becoming the target of hackers. The lesson: Be careful what you share online, because you never know where it’ll end up. 

How can data help the Human Race?

Well I have given you some of the downsides to be aware of, but there are a lot of positives as well. I am constantly seeing improvements in how data is helping us solve real life problems. We have now mapped the human genome and it seems that everyday there is a new advancement in technology.

Below are a number of technologies we have seen develop and its only just the beginning. Things are changing so fast that its hard to keep up with them all.  These one are from

12. Machine Learning will Shape AI

In 2019, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will be implanted in the business platform creating and empowering savvy business operations. In the Artificial Intelligence space, China is going to leave the US behind, rising as an innovator in AI advancements and applications. Advances in Machine Learning innovation and algorithm training will result in new and further developed AI. Autonomous vehicles and robotics technology are the two ventures that will see the most rapid improvements during 2019.

13. The Growth of the Internet

The craving for faster and faster internet connection is truly driving the innovation forward. Organizations and private clients are always requesting ever speedier response times and the industry is reacting.

With extremely quick internet speeds practically around the corner, it ought to be transformative for some parts of our lives. Should it be accomplished, it will build the productivity of workers and will give reliable communication tools to organizations that depend on remote workers. This is the place 5G may most likely change the world as much as our “normal” internet completed quite a few years back.

14. Quantum Computing

Quantum Computing, still a rising innovation, is a standout amongst the most intriguing things analysts, companies, and governments have been working on this century up until now. The race toward coming up with the first completely useful, fully working quantum computer (additionally called supercomputer) is on.

With its amazing computational power, quantum PCs will most likely be a cloud service soon as opposed to on-premise machines. IBM is now offering cloud-based quantum computing services. In 2019, the skill to accomplish supercomputer supremacy will escalate. As a result, the last mile in the race will remain for the most part shrouded, for clear reasons.

15. Microbiomes

New advances in the genetic analysis will make it conceivable to cost-effectively screen and track the spread of these microorganisms and comprehend the effect they will have on human wellbeing around the world. Microorganisms including bacteria can enter the food chain anytime – in farms, production lines, and markets, expanding the amount of food while likewise representing a wellbeing hazard.

Seeing how they travel and interact with the natural food chain will prompt further decreases in wastage of food and reduce the human expense of ailment because of pollution.

16. Smart Homes

Increasingly more of our lives are getting to be incorporated with smart tech. Our homes being no exemption. Demand for ever better brilliant home appliances and home entertainment systems are changing the manner in which we interact. Regardless of whether good or bad, today is only a glimpse of something larger.

Current patterns appear to show a more prominent demand for more control over the manner in which we are engaged in the home from tech. One area that might be something to watch is something many refer to as flexible viewing surfaces.

17. Digital Twins

The idea of building digital twins to empower us to gain from simulations has grabbed hold in the industry, and in farming as well, it holds a lot of value.

Very exact sensors and data gathering innovation permit progressively point-by-point and close reality simulations to be developed carefully, to try different things with new strategies for food production and increase effectiveness and harvest yields. In the meantime, the ecological effect of cultivating can be observed and minimized, by enabling us to accomplish a superior comprehension of the connections among farming and the natural habitat.

18. New Nuclear Power

New nuclear plans that have picked up momentum in the previous year are promising to make this power source more secure and less expensive. Among them are age IV fission reactors, an advancement of conventional plans; small modular reactors; and fusion reactors, an innovation that has appeared to be unceasingly simply distant. Engineers of age IV fission plans, for example, Canada’s Terrestrial Energy and Washington-based TerraPower, have come into R&D partnerships with utilities, going for grid supply (fairly hopefully, perhaps) by the 2020s.

19. Dextrous Robots

For all the discussion about machines taking jobs, industrial robots are as yet clumsy and rigid. A robot can over and again get a segment on a mechanical production system with astounding accuracy and while never getting exhausted, yet move the product half an inch, or supplant it with something marginally unique, and the machine will fumble or paw at slim air.

In any case, while a robot can’t yet be customized to make sense of how to get a grasp on any product just by seeing it, as individuals do, it would now be able to figure out how to control the product all alone through virtual experimentation. One such project is Dactyl, a robot that instructed itself to flip a toy building hinder in its fingers. Dactyl, which originates from the San Francisco not-for-profit OpenAI, comprises of an off-the-rack robot hand encompassed by a variety of lights and cameras.

20. Blockchain Technology

Blockchain in 2019 turns out cryptocurrency transaction and turns into a necessary part of the business platform. Blockchain empowers value-based transparency over a variety of business roles. In 2019, Blockchain will be available in numerous ventures at the core of business advancement.

Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies permit those engaged with the food supply chain to intently monitor and track the journey of nourishment, from seed to plate. With real-time analytics empowering a deeper comprehension of how food travels through the food chain, and where wastage happens, cultivators can settle on increasingly informed decisions around what amounts ought to be planted, and distributors will know with more certainty where there are probably going to be deficiencies and surpluses.

21. Custom Cancer Vaccines

Because of scientific advancements like the Human Genome Project, personalised medications and vaccines could be practically around the corner. One intriguing application for this is the likelihood of creating customized cancer vaccines.

This may sound somewhat outlandish, yet it is trusted that medical experts could before long train your immune system to distinguish and wreck malignant growth cells. This, whenever accomplished, could make malignant growth a relic of past times.

Are Governments changing Fast Enough to keep up?

In the UK on average it takes about 1 year to pass a piece of legislation. Now if you compare this to a major tech company like Apple or Samsung they can conceptualize and release not only a phone, but a re-release in the same time. They have developed and implemented on scale and made billions of dollars – could a Government react to the rate of change in the same way?

If you look at other tech companies as well utilizing Agile methodologies, they are probably moving even faster. So, this has got me thinking are our current governing bodies set up in a way that can react to rapid change? Look at Cambridge Analytica for example they were above the curve in what they were doing, and it seems we still have not learnt our lesson or looked at the source.

Cambridge Analytica have had more influence on decisions and caused more change than you can imagine, and we have not even seen the ramifications to come. How can data have so much power and remain unchecked?

In a world that is changing so rapidly, is it not time for us to have a global unity that tackles these decisions quickly and efficiently? Rather than reacting to the issues why don’t we instead try to keep in front of them? In my mind it’s starting to bring new meaning to the saying “the Future is Now”. So isn’t time we educate ourselves. Its our responsibility to ensure that we keep in control of our data and decisions and educate ourselves to the possibilities, so we can make an informed decision and not let big companies make the decisions for us….

Please feel free to share these are only a few of my thoughts.

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