Risky Data: Big Data Liabilities In Companies
Sat, January 28, 2023

Risky Data: Big Data Liabilities In Companies

Big data nowadays is risky data / Photo Credit: sdecoret (via Shutterstock)


California’s strict data law will take effect in January 2020, and in other states, there are proposals to jail executives who fail to safeguard people’s data from a breach, wrote Tom Foremski of ZDNet, a business technology website. It’s not surprising that data is becoming more of a liability “rather than a benefit.” Foremski dropped by media roundtables organized by computer security firms. According to them, 100% protection is not possible. 

Hence, companies need to prepare themselves for a security breach. That’s assuming firms know where all its data is located. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely. Companies are known to constantly create copies of their production database for various reasons. For instance, their developers can use the copies to test software. Apparently, these copies are not “stripped of sensitive data” since they are used for testing. The data have different access controls and are often used outside the IT environment. 

It is easy for intruders with malicious motives to access developer testing setups. Why do companies collect data and shoulder all the legal liabilities if they don’t need to store it? Organizations have been gathering large amounts of personal data but few of them know what to do with it. But data is like oil. Like oil, data is valuable but if it gets leaked, then firms will be required to pay fines and their reputation will be tarnished. 

For the past couple of years, the IT industry has talked about the “value that can be found in big data.” But now, big data is just risky data. There is also a clash of ideas surrounding consumer data security and privacy. Data breaches done by hackers are big problems, allowing ad technologies to gather and create massive data warehouses of personal data. If data is not in the warehouse, then there’s nothing for cyberattackers to steal.

Ad technology is about to be severely restricted. Marketers utilize data “to save a few cents on the costs of selling services and products.” This data is also used to judge a person’s beliefs, making them vulnerable to hidden ideological and political manipulation by unknown parties. But advertising and targeted messages work. Hence, it’s inevitable that societies will impose strict limits on ad technologies, including the collection and use of personal data.