Policy Report Assessment on Big Data

Added on - 21 Apr 2020

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POLICY REPORT2Problem StatementIn the recent years, a noticed growth has been seen in electronic surveillance. A number ofprocesses have been made automated and a lot of information, particularly big data, isdisseminated through the internet. When it comes to Big Data, it is a key contemporarysurveillance issue and there is a need to protect such data, as at majority instances, the samerelates to sensitive information and also due to the high dependence on such data (Ferguson,2017).EvidenceThe revelations about the National Security Agency back in 2013 by Edward Snowden, inaddition to the complexities of the internet companies, coupled with the internationalcontroversies have provided an ideal segue to the contemporary problems of Big Data andsurveillance. There has been a change in the attention from being over the C20th informationtechnology and its networks, to the present Big Data. Through Big Data, some surveillancetrends which are related to networks and information technology are intensified, which results infresh yet fluid configurations (Lyon, 2015). This is done in three distinguished manners. The firstone relates to the capacity of Big Data intensifies surveillance through expansion of analyticaltools and interconnected datasets. This is in addition to the present dynamics of riskmanagement, influence and control increase in the scope and speed by the use of new techniques,particularly when it comes to predictive analytics (Lyon, 2014).
POLICY REPORT3Secondly, even though Big Data deems to be about size, there is perceptibility of qualitativechanges. The key trends in this regard relate to the public-private synergies, user involvementand faith in technology and these are persisting. And lastly, the ethics underpinned in thisprocess become a key mode of criticism. The viewpoints associated with privacy are breachedwhen it comes to surveillance as it uses the personal information of the users, which not only isan ethical breach but also a breach of moral, which has been given a legal structure (Lyon, 2014).Before an understanding is attained about the revelations of Snowden, certain key mattersassociated with Big Data surveillance have to be made clear. This would help in showing themanner in which the revelations of Snowden showed the dependence on the Big Data techniques,particularly since these have a huge impact over the very understanding of the present daysurveillance. It cannot be denied that some of the revelations of Snowden involved targeting;however, the key focus of these remained on the Big Data techniques (Boersma and Fonio,2017). But what is Big Data? Big Data is the capacity of searching, aggregating and cross-referencing large data sets (Boyd and Crawford, 2012). There are a variety of practices,softwares, ideas, techniques and metaphors which are bundled together in two deceivinglysimple sounding words.The attempt here is to show that surveillance trends are intensified as a result of Big Data,particularly the ones associated with networks and information technology. Two key questionshave to be answered here. The first one relates to the extent of Snowden disclosures which showthat Big Data practices are very important to surveillance. This is answered from the queriesregarding the practices associated with Big Data with regards to public concern and surveillancein the matter of activities of NSA which predate Snowden. Snowden just brought out something
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