Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Privacy The Almighty Buck Your Rights Online

Will Users Get a Slice of the "Big Data" Pie? 123

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
curtwoodward writes "Better healthcare, more efficient government, cheaper goods and services — it's all possible in the age of 'big data.' According to the big companies hoping to make a killing off all that information, anyway. But will the people generating that valuable data — Joe and Jane Consumer — ever get a piece of the action? A few startups are trying to establish first-party marketplaces for personal data, compensating users directly for contributing high-quality information about themselves. The World Economic Forum is also involved, hoping that one day, 'a person's data would be equivalent to their money ... controlled, managed, exchanged and accounted for just like personal banking services operate today.' But some entrepreneurs think it might be too late in the developed world, where a consumer's data fingerprint is already very well documented."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Will Users Get a Slice of the "Big Data" Pie?

Comments Filter:
    • Long Answer (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No.

      Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      People can laugh but that is why I switched to Bing Search, it gives me a slice in the form of Amazon gift cards. If you want to make money off my data? Fine, give me a slice, hell it doesn't even have to be a big slice, I'm sure what I'm getting from Bing isn't much compared to how much they get for the data, but its better than not getting anything and all those Amazon cards means that just by doing the searches I'd have to do anyway at the shop all those little odds and ends i always need, adapters, cabl

      • Bing Rewards isn't available yet in your country or region.

        Funny, _all_ of Google's services are available in my country. Guess I'll stick with the lesser evit, then.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)
          So you give up your data and get not a single dime, congrats. Me I'd rather get paid, even a small slice is better than nothing, but if you wanna stick with google after their nasty privacy policy changes you go right on ahead, I'm sure they just love guys like you.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Long answer... No fucking way are you crazy?

    "You, and I, are not in the big club."

    We'll be lucky to know the data was gathered and exists. Let alone what it says. Or have a say in what it says...

    creepy... (captcha:warrants) how does it DO that...

  • . . . will get the most from the "Big Data" Pie . . . all that needs to be stored somewhere . . .

    . . . is anyone selling "Big Data Clouds" already . . . ?

    • IBM's attempts to do exactly that appear to occupy about 30% of Slashdot's ad space these days... At this point, they'll probably have to move a few mainframes just to pay their abstract-but-inspiring-clip-art bills.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    are you in the CEO class? ---> yes... SURE DEAL
      \
          \
              \---> no... screw you.

    Welcome to Serfdom 2.0, scab.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why in the US (western ingeneral) companies get the benefit of the doubt and people are seen as kooks. If Google say it, it must be true; if Tom, Dick, or Harry say it, take it with a grain of salt.

    Anyone/companies not interested in privacy, people first before profit,is to be avoided.

    • As quoth the dubious but attractively glib folk wisdom: "If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?"...

    • by Altrag (195300)

      Because major companies tend to care about their reputation more than your average whackjob.

      Individuals with a track record of making smart, relevant statements are treated with plenty of respect around here. Of course they're mostly ignored because $$$ moves things in this part of the world, not respect. But we still give them the props they deserve.

      Similarly, we don't really trust anything some fly-by-night company we've never heard of throws out. Companies have to earn respect just as much as people.

      T

  • The World Economic Forum is also involved, hoping that one day, 'a person's data would be equivalent to their money ... controlled, managed, exchanged and accounted for just like personal banking services operate today.'

    Companies are increasingly getting more access to peoples money with "services" like automatic bill pay, fancy non-check checking, direct deposit, etc... The goal is to give everyone easy access to your money with minimal intervention from the owner of that money. Personal data is already

  • Damn you Pavlov! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:14PM (#43898899)
    You know, my BS meter is starting to get attuned to go off anytime I see 'Big <X>' used as a proper noun.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:27PM (#43899039)

      This is because of all the collusion going on behind the scenes with Big Meter. They've intentionally calibrated their BS detectors with a low threshold so that we'll all always be wary of other Big interests.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      That's just Big Idiocy at work.

    • Completely. It s pretty much become a blanket term used by people who don't seem to bother researching something they don't fully understand, but want to complain about it at the same time.
    • Thank you. I really get annoyed when I hear Big stuck before anything, because it has connotations of somebody being oppressed, with immediate injected bias against the subject of the discussion.

  • If the networks shared ad revenue with their television watchers, you could feasibly get paid for watching tv.

    What is more likely to happen though is for game shows to be made into video game form, and then when you play the video game, you can earn money if the game is competitive. I was considering making an online poker site where you never deposit money, but at the end of the month, people who won tournaments share in a real money prize pool. The legality of online poker in the United States thoug
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If it is allowed that a person's data has monetary value, then it surely follows that the person may elect not to sell it. People will never be allowed to opt out.

    • by femtobyte (710429)

      It is allowed that people's labor has value --- yet few are in the position to elect not to sell it. Unless you're independently wealthy, you're pretty much forced to sell your labor to benefit those who *are* independently wealthy (and set the terms of employment to benefit themselves and their self-reinforcing ability to dictate the terms on which you must sell your labor). So, even if your data has theoretically "withholdable" value, in practice you may not find much success getting groceries, renting an

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:19PM (#43898943) Journal

    If "'a person's data would be equivalent to their money ... controlled, managed, exchanged and accounted for just like personal banking services operate today.'" is the optimistic-pie-in-the-sky vision of the future, I think it's safe to say that we are 100% fucked.

    Financial services is not... exactly... a shining beacon of customer service, egalitarian contracting, and transparency, and the deal gets worse the smaller your scale. If that's the ideal, the outcome seems likely to be grim indeed.

    • by Knuckles (8964)

      Yeah, that sentence is one of the scariest things I've read in a while.

    • by vidnet (580068)

      Basically, it's like Bitcoin where instead of cryptographic keys, the public ledger and proof-of-work you have the honor system.

      What could possibly go wrong?

  • by Seumas (6865) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:19PM (#43898955)

    Instead of giving me a piece of the action - give me the option not to be part of the action in the first place. My privacy and ownership of my own data and control over who can have it and do what with it is infinitely more valuable than a couple dollars.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      if you're asking the wolves for the option not to be eaten, you're an idiot. best thing to do is protect yourself. nobody else will watch over your affairs better than you.

  • They already do (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:20PM (#43898969) Journal

    Discounts on groceries, gasoline, hotels, airline flights, free meals, free email, social network accounts, streaming music, streaming TV. We're getting compensated for our data, and those who do not participate are both less compensated and less tracked.

    Now, if you're wondering whether individuals will become the sellers of their data for their financial gain - no. The value in data is in large aggregation of both quantitative (age, sex, ethnicity) and qualitative (likes, interests, behaviours) so that groups can be targeted for whatever an entity is looking for. You are not a beautiful jewel in a sea of dull pebbles, and even if you were you're value in paving the road to advertising is just that of a dull pebble. You don't go buy your stone a pebble at a time, you buy it from someone who has a quarry full and can give it to you by the truckload.

    The value in personal data lies in the value many have in aggregate (get it - stones, aggregate - Ha!). It's not surprising that we will never find value in our personal data except to us, and those who market will have to have billions of data points. The value isn't great enough to warrant negotiation with every individual.

    • by game kid (805301)

      Pretty much. At the extreme, "offer walls" basically offer Joe and Jane in-game currencies or other bonuses (depending on where used), if they are willing to pick a sponsor's ad(s) on it and watch videos, give their address and email and phone-#, take surveys...

      So yeah, you can already get a slice of the pie. Just don't expect a substantial one unless you really like the service you find those ads on (you probably won't get much actual cash for them), and do expect to feel dirty and less secure-in-privacy

    • Re:They already do (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:56PM (#43899301) Homepage

      Exactly right.

      I worked in Big Data on a project involving medical records. We harvested medical data from millions of unsuspecting patients, thanks to a probably-unread clause in hospitals' privacy policy. Patients never knew that we had their data, and we never actually paid anybody for it, to my knowledge. The end product (which the providing hospitals got free (I think) access to) was a system for making drug research far faster and cheaper, and tracking doctors that had statistically-poor outcomes, and tracking hereditary disease, and even predicting diagnoses. The implications are pretty clear: cheaper and better health care for everybody, at the cost of privacy for medical data (which was anonymized, salted, hashed, encrypted, anonymized again, and stored in a secure cluster, to comply with all the madness of regulation).

      Everything about Big Data relies on the assumption that having more complete information allows a particular business to improve efficiency. For advertising and medicine, this is pretty obvious. Just saying a brand name to the right person at the right time makes a sale. A doctor who can see the symptoms and outcomes of tens of millions of patients can better match a particular patient's case with an earlier example. If that assumption holds true, Big Data is useful.

      This ultimately boils down to the issue of anecdotal vs. statistical evidence. Each individual's information is an anecdote, and holds value to the erson (or people) it relates to, but the anecdote doesn't really provide insight for the future. On the other hand, statistical information is only useful on a large scale with a large sample, collected from people who know little enough about the project to alter its outcome. As you said, the statistical information is worth buying, but anecdotes aren't.

      • I have a reasonable idea of when I don't want to be tracked and how to mostly avoid it. That said, most of my info I freely distribute. I'm not really a slave to commercialism, so I'm not heavily swayed by advertising. However, if I'm going to see ads, I'd rather see a bunch of ads for stuff I'm interested in than a page filled with "collectible" plates, Cialis, and feminine care products. If I get advertising which is appropriate and engaging (entertaining) in return for stuff that I'd be happy making publ

        • by femtobyte (710429)

          Kroger knows what kind of bread I buy and chips in $10-$20/mo for gas.

          Krogers has probably raised your bread and chips price by $10-$20/mo to cover this exchange (well, spread over all your groceries, assuming you buy more than bread and chips). And you do realize that all those "amazing" "discounts" for loyalty card holders are just fabricated by jacking up the "non-card" price by several dollars? Don't think that the Invisible Markets Fairy is somehow assuring you're getting a fair deal in this exchange --- you're just getting shafted for your detailed buying data so Kroger

          • Oh, I have no illusion that Kroger - or anyplace else with a reward program - makes their money back somewhere. I also shop at Walmart - they may do shitty things to some vendors, but I have no worries that Kellog or General Mills is getting put out of business by the Waltons - and I know what market value is for much of what I buy. Kroger is close to me (6 blocks), so it has certain cost advantages for small purchases; their meat is of higher quality than most other non-specialty vendors in my area and, wh

            • by femtobyte (710429)

              Yes, for now you can still game the system --- the store pricing models are designed to maximize profit off the "average" customer, so if you're willing/able to stock up, opportunistically identify and take/avoid the good/bad bargains, you can nullify (or even benefit from) the pricing chicanery.
              Of course, it's game over for that once the stores roll out the logical goal of fine-grained individualized monitoring: the truly "personalized shopping experience," that Amazon has gotten some flak for flirting wit

          • Does anyone actually provide their real name and address in exchange for a "loyalty" card? I have the cards, but I've never given anything for them and I always pay for my groceries in cash.
        • Another tactic that you might want to consider is deliberate seeding of misinformation about yourself into the advertising streams. For example using many false birthdates, occupations and wildly divergent incomes along with different plausible addresses, phone numbers, etc. I often use this technique, usually also with aliases, depending upon how important it is for the information to be accurate and usually it's not very important at all. Very few organizations actually require accurate information about
      • Everything about Big Data relies on the assumption that having more complete information allows a particular business to improve efficiency.

        That word. I don't think it means what you think it means. Now, if you mean "improve sales"...

        For advertising and medicine, this is pretty obvious. Just saying a brand name to the right person at the right time makes a sale.

        And taking that same person at the right time and showing them that generic X is equivalent to brand name except for the label and the much cheape

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          Now, if you mean "improve sales"...

          No, I mean efficiency. If your main business is sales, then it means improving sales without raising expenses, but Big Data analysis is useful elsewhere, too. If you'd actually read my comment without the gross prejudice, you'd find several examples of improving efficiency in medicine - more accurately detecting trends, showing comorbidity, and finding doctors that ordered excessive tests. Inefficiencies like that are hard to see individually, but in aggregate, outliers are much easier to see.

          Some examples

      • Everything about Big Data relies on the assumption that having more complete information allows a particular business to improve efficiency. For advertising and medicine, this is pretty obvious.

        Training predictive agents on data sets, large and small, for the purpose of decision making is nothing new. These types of systems have been known in AI circles for decades now. The problem was and remains the relative inability of these systems to perform well on problems where the state of the system is non-deterministic or stochastic [wikipedia.org]. The classic examples of predictive AIs were always in well understood areas with little randomness such as agriculture or medical diagnostics. However, many real world pro

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Discounts on groceries, gasoline, hotels, airline flights, free meals, free email, social network accounts, streaming music, streaming TV. We're getting compensated for our data, and those who do not participate are both less compensated and less tracked.

      How much of these "discounts" would people be availing themselves of if their spending habits weren't being engineered by Big Data et. al. in the first place?

      Or did you want that house full of pointless crap and that extra 30 lbs. of fat?

      • by neminem (561346)

        > "How much of these "discounts" would people be availing themselves of if their spending habits weren't being engineered by Big Data et. al. in the first place?"

        None, because they wouldn't exist. Hard to avail myself of a discount that isn't available.

        But if you mean how many of those things would I purchase if I wasn't supposedly being brainwashed by whatever companies you imagine are brainwashing us to want things? All of them that I buy now, I'm pretty sure. I need to eat, so that's groceries and mea

  • Bunch of fools (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Synerg1y (2169962) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:21PM (#43898971)

    Individually your data is worth nothing, when summarized it provides trends and statistics, when integrated it can vastly improve the healthcare system and make the government run smoother.

    The first market personal data collectors seem like fly by night type people who don't really know what they're doing. I mean the very concept of willingly giving data for money screams put your best foot forward, greatly skewing the data and making it worthless.

  • by Sedated2000 (1716470) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:36PM (#43899115)
    Google has already tried this. [arstechnica.com]
    • When using Google search engine and the Firefox extension Ghostry https://www.ghostery.com/ [ghostery.com] I find that in some cases I have to unblock / allow Doubleclick to function otherwise Google seems to choke on something when attempting to provide results. By the way running Ghostery sure gives a good idea of who is tracking you and who may well have a financial interest in your browsing habits. I fear that I only get a pay back if I click on something and accept any discount they decide to offer but if I click or
  • We give you a decentralized network self healing near instantly even when whole cities disappearing off the map, and you put your data in a centralized data silo, then market it as "Big Data". It's not outright stupid, just a bit ignorant, eh?

  • by tocsy (2489832) on Monday June 03, 2013 @04:35PM (#43899591)

    Whenever the title to a story on Slashdot is a question, the answer is (almost always) no.

  • Will Users Get a Slice of the "Big Data" Pie?

    Users ARE the 'pie'. Just who are you trying to kid?

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Monday June 03, 2013 @08:03PM (#43900987)
    but the huge increases in efficiency will put lots of people out of work, and the money saved will look lovely in some 1%ers bank account. Plus as there are fewer and fewer jobs we'll fight harder and harder amongst ourselves for them. Sure, the world needs ditch diggers. Well, one guy to fix the 20,000+ robot ditch diggers anyway...
  • Insights create the value in Big Data, so it's absurd to predict which data might be those that create the insights. Bottom line is what you think might be valuable data might be rubbish.
  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @09:07AM (#43903745)

    Productivity of the average American worker went through the roof since 1979:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/speedup-americans-working-harder-charts [motherjones.com]

    http://www.ibtimes.com/us-worker-productivity-rising-faster-wage-growth-1114871 [ibtimes.com]

    Did your inflation-adjusted paycheck? Oh hell no, you're (the average American ) treading water.

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3220 [cbpp.org]

    http://www.businessinsider.com/corporate-profits-just-hit-an-all-time-high-wages-just-hit-an-all-time-low-2012-6 [businessinsider.com]

    and have been for decades... DECADES

    OK then. All this cost savings is pocketed by billionaires , not passed on to you. The ONLY form in which it's ever passed on to ordinary people is at their own expense, e.g. Walmart prices and Walmart

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/03/1213437/-What-Walmart-Costs-Taxpayers [dailykos.com]

    http://www.walmarteffectbook.com/ [walmarteffectbook.com]

    So if you want to realize what any of the productivity gains / cost savings you've worked for and created, start a company, force everyone who works for you be to be part time, steal the benefits of THEIR increase in productivity, lobby your congresspig for tax breaks for the wealthy..... oh and shop at Walmart.

    America is a nation of by and for billionaires, who fund our elections, occupy our political offices, write our laws and own our media. They do this for their own benefit and anything which does not effect their personal lives is not *real* and doesn't matter.

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2296684923/ [pbs.org]

    So no- it's not for you.

    Now get back to work.

A sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

Working...