Data is the most valuable resource at this moment, valued more than oil. In an ever growing digital lifestyle, data has become such a crucial commodity that profits are surging everyday for its biggest collectors. Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are some of the biggest players in this industry and their dominance over this new resource is alarming.
New technologies are emerging everyday to deal with large data set and using it to provide financial benefits. These technologies are already being used to drive human behavior. Machine learning can provide sensible insights from random data that can enable companies to not only understand user behavior but to alter it.
So far, data is largely used to understand user behavior and to provide targeted marketing. However, these behaviors can also be altered with a right strategy, if used in an active way. Accusations of election rigging and driving social agenda using information manipulation has already made some headlines across the world in past few years. It is only a matter of time when innovative ideas of manipulation becomes part of an accepted digital strategy if no action is taken.
Seemingly harmless and free services like FaceApp are good examples of how users can be manipulated in giving away their private data. Digital literacy, awareness of privacy and fair use of this new commodity remains an interesting challenge in this fast growing digital fortress. Antitrust laws and privacy laws require new approaches to handle this emerging threat.
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