Guest Article – PROTONET on “Big data and my data”

September 24, 2014/POSTED BY Sebastian Geis/


Why the control of the actual data is important in the era of all pervasive data collection.

Big data has moved from being a catchword for the technically savvy early-adopter to becoming a trend which effects all of us. It basically concerns the collection and analysis of huge amounts of data, from which conclusions are ultimately drawn. An area in which big data can profit from enormously is the medical sector. Frequent illnesses can be examined on the basis of recurring patterns and this information can be used to develop better nutrition. Also in the context of business, big data offers great advantages: knowledge about customers, such as correlations between interest and willingness to buy, is just what marketing managers have been waiting for. But where do I stand as a user, as an average person?

I am more than willing to further medical progress and to use my personal data (anonymously) to this end. But to disclose my private data, my purchasing and online behaviour so that large companies could better understand me and thereby influence me – would I like that?

I am more than willing to further medical progress and to use my personal data (anonymously) to this end. But to disclose my private data, my purchasing and online behaviour so that large companies could better understand me and thereby influence me – would I like that?
The problem is that we are already leaving our footprints in many areas every day. For example, shopping in a supermarket as well as online, where basically each step I take is recorded and analysed. We no longer have an overview of who collects what and where. Therefore it is all the more important that we, at the very least, keep our private and sensitive data to ourselves. Therefore, not just encrypted in some cloud but in our own hands. We have set ourselves the goal of making that possible. With our personal servers and our software “Protonet Soul “, customers shall regain their independence.

There are three preconditions for this:

  • The solution must be so easy to operate that even those without IT knowledge could benefit from it.

  • Communicating over their own server and exchanging data must be as comfortable as that experienced through cloud based solutions.

  • Hardware and software should be perfectly coordinated and access from outside should be highly encrypted.

You can’t surf anonymously on the internet even over our Protonet personal server. But this is a great step in the direction of independence and at least the mapping of communication with colleagues and friends, in addition to data exchange will occur over their own system. So the data doesn’t lie just anywhere, but within your own four walls.

Big data and the collection of data present great opportunities depending on its intended use, but we as users have absolutely no influence on where and for which purpose our data is being used. Maybe we’ll eventually come to a point where we’ll decide ourselves which data we’d like to provide and to whom. Until then we should strongly consider how we deal with our data and to whom we grant access.

 

PROTONET