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

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the pay-up dept.

Businesses 123

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."

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The big picture (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898785)

Why are you concentrating on trivial things at a time like this?

How can you be complacent when . . . BENGHAZI??????

Re:The big picture (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43899111)

I find it funny that you care enough to mention "BENGHAZI" in a few threads but you don't care enough to post a link or two in your comment.

Re: The big picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899155)

If one examines neotextual discourse, one is faced with a choice: either reject neocapitalist Marxism or conclude that the collective is part of the dialectic of language, given that cultural nationalism is invalid. In a sense, the subject is contextualised into a structural feminism that includes sexuality as a whole.

In the works of Rushdie, a predominant concept is the distinction between within and without. Baudrillard suggests the use of neotextual discourse to deconstruct capitalism. It could be said that Lyotardâ(TM)s analysis of neocapitalist Marxism suggests that the raison dâ(TM)etre of the poet is significant form.

If neotextual discourse holds, the works of Rushdie are reminiscent of Smith. Thus, Baudrillard promotes the use of neocapitalist Marxism to read and analyse society.

The characteristic theme of Porterâ(TM)s[1] critique of subcapitalist theory is a mythopoetical reality. However, the subject is interpolated into a neotextual discourse that includes consciousness as a whole.

Finnis[2] implies that we have to choose between neocapitalist Marxism and dialectic deappropriation. It could be said that the primary theme of the works of Rushdie is the role of the observer as writer.

Re: The big picture (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43900691)

That's the beautiful part about a freedom-based constitution. "Congress shall pass no law" is inviolate, no matter how long the stream of words used, by power hungry interlopers, in attempts to seize power.

I hope so (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898797)

Roses are red,
grass is greener.

When I read Slashdot,
I play with my weiner.

Re:I hope so (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43899153)

Roses Are Red,
Violets Are Blue,
Milk, Eggs, Coffee.

Re:I hope so (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#43899501)

Roses Are Red,
Violets Are Blue

That's what they say,
But it just isn't true.

Roses are red
And apples are too,
But violets are *violet*.
Violets aren't blue!

An orange is orange,
But Greenland's not green.
A pinky's not pink,
So what does it mean?

To call something blue
When it's not, we defile it.
But, ah, what the heck,
It's *hard* to rhyme violet!

Re:I hope so (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43899889)

Violets are blue. Have you ever gotten one to smile or go out for a night of fun? They just sit there, like they're rooted to the ground.

In the near future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43900357)

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Big Data owns You.

Re:I hope so (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43900619)

Just in case someone didn't get the reference [youtube.com] ...

Re:I hope so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43900389)

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I suck at poetry

Not on your life ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898799)

Never going to happen, these companies want your information for free, and in an unregulated way in order to maximize corporate profits.

America has no interest in protecting people's privacy, and is incapable of having any priority besides the wishes of companies.

Consumers will never get anything here except screwed.

Re:Not on your life ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898875)

Big data is nothing but a scam. No one will ever make money from this data, except the people who sell it.
The purchasers are suckers, just like people who pay spammers to send spam.

Re:Not on your life ... (4, Interesting)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#43899171)

I actually agree with this to an extent and would mod you up had I points.

A lot of the alleged "intelligence" being pulled out of big data are merely correlational and of a unscientific sampling at that- example the bullshit about which states are unhappiest based on people's Twittering .

Upon this, as upon the credit default swaps and derivatives, an entire "science" of "big data" will be built. The chief and only certain beneficiaries will be the horseshit factories that churn this out out to the mathematically illiterate and experientially provincial.

In fact, since the data cannot be assumed to normally distributed and the variables in question independent of anything, including each other, most of mathematics CANNOT be used to analyze this data still less to predict future states of any system reified - and presumed to really exist- from that data.

Never mind though. Rest assured the asshole quants on working the case even now because while no KNOWLEDGE can be derived from it, a fuck of a lot of money sure can be had.

Still big data is interesting in some limited context and can be applied in useful ways to the betterment of applications, for instance.

But that's not what we're all about, is it ? We're all about putting some lipstick on that pig and selling it.

If you're the sorting type, it's only a matter of timing any Big Data fungus, er./.. I mean companies, as they crop up.

 

Re:Not on your life ... (5, Informative)

drummerboybac (1003077) | about a year ago | (#43899465)

This whole post operates on a narrow definition of Big Data. Big Data could mean, data from the LHC, or data from video analysis, or any number of other things.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43900303)

Big Data could mean, data from the LHC, or data from video analysis, or any number of other things.

Well it could mean a lot of htings. But in the context of TFA it is clear what definition of "Big Data" is relevant.

Re:Not on your life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899481)

Hmmmm. Non-parametric statistics is a long established field -- one could argue that *parametric* statistics is the aberration -- and that the whole business p0.05 or bust is just silliness introduced by Fisher when he felt like a 1 in 20 chance of being wrong was strong enough. One of the points of really big data is that you don't have to make parametric assumptions -- if you have enough samples then permutation testing works just fine.
 

Re:Not on your life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43900277)

It's news to Amazon that they can't make money off Big Data. Lots of money.

People who made purchases similar to yours also looked at....

Re:Not on your life ... (2)

m00sh (2538182) | about a year ago | (#43902271)

Say that to Amazon. After they started using their own data, they disbanded their entire staff of experts for recommendations. The computer algorithms were giving three times more sales and costing a fraction of the price of the salaries of the experts.

Say that to Google. When they made their translate program, they didn't use experts but used web-pages to learn translation. Or the auto-completion of queries. Or even pagerank itself.

Unscientific sampling? Big data is about the opposite of sampling. Sampling is a subset of big data. Before, statistics was hypothesis testing but big data is about lots and lots of automated hypothesis testing. The mathematics and statistics is basically the same. Why can't data be assumed to be normally distributed? If you have big data, you can just plot the damn thing or measure how close to normal it is. You know what the cure for analyzing data that is not independent is, yes more data for more complex tests across groups.

In fact, big data has shown to be a better predictor than experts in many fields. See Amazon's voice, IBM Watson and google translate. The limitations of big data is the same as for the conventional hypothesis testing and probably it's being conducted by statistically illiterate CS people.

Re:Not on your life ... (5, Interesting)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43900027)

I don't really think so myself. Efficiency is the key thing to making "stuff" more affordable and therefore more ubiquitous. For example, efficiencies in semiconductor fabrication enabled personal computers to be affordable by the average joe, even really poor people, whereas it used to be only the very rich owned them. The same thing can be said for cars and Ford's original Model T.

One key part of this is economies of scale, which means you need to sell large quantities of something in order for it to be affordable by the masses. And subsequently, a key part of that is marketing. Marketing is expensive as hell, and goes into the cost of those goods. If big data makes marketing cheaper, then that savings will eventually (though not immediately) make its way to joe sixpack.

So yes, you as the producer of that data DO benefit, just the benefit isn't obvious.

For another perspective on that, you ought to read Bestiat's parable of the broken window. Basically, when you can save money on an expense, then that money can go towards something more useful elsewhere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window [wikipedia.org]

This is exactly how the poor become wealthy. In spite of popular claim, the poor are in fact wealthier than they have ever been. Not by a little, but by a lot. Don't confuse money and income with wealth. By that I mean like what I stated above. It used to be that only the very rich owned cars, later TV's, and then later personal computers, later mobile phones (remember when car phones were neat?). A rich person from yesterday would be envious of the wealth that a poor person has today.

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/john-stossel-on-the-poor-americas-poor-live-better-than-most-have-lived-through-history/ [mediaite.com]

TL;DR and summary: I have a hard time seeing big data as being a scam, but rather as being a benefit. You may lose a bit of privacy, but I don't think it's enough to satisfy say a nosy neighbor. And before the accusations fly; no, I'm not a paid shill. Hell, I wish I were, because then I could get paid to muse about something I already believed in anyways.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43900423)

It used to be that only the very rich owned cars, later TV's, and then later personal computers, later mobile phones (remember when car phones were neat?). A rich person from yesterday would be envious of the wealth that a poor person has today.

So, a poor person has some shiny baubles --- a car to help them go to work for the rich, a TV to help them watch propaganda from the rich, a personal computer and mobile phone to keep them working for the rich 24/7. Yes, if you're happy being a slave with a giant shiny TV, then you might prefer being poor today to being rich a century ago. On the other hand, if you had some higher ideals --- a love of autonomy, freedom, self-actualization, intellectual expansion, etc., then you might rather be rich with the opportunity to explore/develop your own interests on your own terms (in a world with books, paintings, music, plays, ... but no TV), than a wage slave with gold-plated chains.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43900573)

I don't really see how I could be identified as a slave. Especially today where it's rather easy to get away with not working at all. Hell, I did that for several years. Through student grants and other whatnots I was getting paid to go to college. Look at that, intellectual expansion. Just yesterday I watched a rather shocking episode of game of thrones, but you're telling me that game of thrones is corporate propaganda to make me slave for the rich. Granted there are slaves in that show, I don't see the message where I should become a slave.

Wait a minute - are you one of those who insist that watching TV rots your brain? Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that theory was debunked a long time ago. And to be honest, I don't particularly fancy either paintings or plays. As for paintings, I'm not into them at all. I don't like plays because I don't like waiting in line to sit down in a crowded theater listening to people cough and chew popcorn, and the production values aren't particularly good compared to the competition. TV on the other hand, I dropped $3k on a 7.1 system with lossless audio, a 55" tv, and a nice leather couch that is far more comfortable than any theater chair. If things went your way, I'd have paid not less than $20,000 for all of this stuff. Game of thrones would have no more so called propaganda on my LCD screen than it would if it were in a play. Meanwhile, I'm having a hard time figuring out how a play would manage to include realistic looking dragons and very large and very acrobatic wolves.

You're a bit old fashioned my friend. I think it's time to leave your fief.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43900679)

I don't really see how I could be identified as a slave. Especially today where it's rather easy to get away with not working at all. Hell, I did that for several years. Through student grants and other whatnots I was getting paid to go to college.

Well, it sounds like you don't really fall into the broader category of being poor in this country. Being "temporarily" poor while going to college --- before securing a solidly-above-median salary job --- isn't the same as being a career minimum wage worker, born to career minimum wage workers, with very little prospect of going to college in the first place (even if you're pretty smart).

but you're telling me that game of thrones is corporate propaganda to make me slave for the rich

It certainly isn't helping you to see the injustice in the system. And, if you're watching either the ads between, or the "news," you'll get a full-bore propaganda blast.

Wait a minute - are you one of those who insist that watching TV rots your brain?

Only some of it; I enjoy watching a few shows myself. I'm more of a "live free or die" type. If you offered the trade: live as a poor person today, or a rich person before ubiquitous cars and TVs, I'd take the choice that gave me real personal autonomy over a shiny TV and a shitty Taylorized job.

If things went your way, I'd have paid not less than $20,000 for all of this stuff.

Oh, boo hoo. Also, false --- why do you think "my way" of doing things means crappier TVs? I'm fine with a society with good TVs *and* good equality and opportunity for all. And, if we're talking about the poor --- a $3K home entertainment setup might be a bit of a stretch at two and a half months of minimum wage salary, which is hard to save up after rent and grocery bills.

Meanwhile, I'm having a hard time figuring out how a play would manage to include realistic looking dragons and very large and very acrobatic wolves.

You're missing some important equipment in the cranium department if this is the primary criterion by which you judge plays.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43901845)

Well, it sounds like you don't really fall into the broader category of being poor in this country. Being "temporarily" poor while going to college --- before securing a solidly-above-median salary job --- isn't the same as being a career minimum wage worker, born to career minimum wage workers, with very little prospect of going to college in the first place (even if you're pretty smart).

That's strange, since the whole time I was in school, I was well below the threshold of what the government defines as poverty.

It certainly isn't helping you to see the injustice in the system. And, if you're watching either the ads between, or the "news," you'll get a full-bore propaganda blast.

What injustice? Oh, you believe in the idea of social justice. Well, I don't, and let me tell you why: I believe in rewarding somebody who does something good. However I don't believe in rewarding anybody who hasn't done anything at all. Now consider the concept of TINSTAAFL. When you reward somebody for doing nothing, you've taken from somebody else. THAT is an injustice.

Only some of it; I enjoy watching a few shows myself. I'm more of a "live free or die" type. If you offered the trade: live as a poor person today, or a rich person before ubiquitous cars and TVs, I'd take the choice that gave me real personal autonomy over a shiny TV and a shitty Taylorized job.

That's the thing you don't realize: We have real personal autonomy. Far more than we ever have. Cars for example allow you to go places and do things which in the past you'd probably never do. For example, I can make a holiday weekend trip to the beach, whereas without a car we're looking at about two weeks of travel time alone, with much greater expense because you have to actually eat along the way.

But you come and tell me that cars are slave tools....I mean really? I don't understand how you can view it that way, it's just insane. And I don't make that statement lightly, I mean like batshit insane to the level of believing the moonlandings were faked and that 9/11 was an inside job. That's just how cheesy and unrealistic of a conspiracy theory that it is.

Oh, boo hoo. Also, false --- why do you think "my way" of doing things means crappier TVs? I'm fine with a society with good TVs *and* good equality and opportunity for all. And, if we're talking about the poor --- a $3K home entertainment setup might be a bit of a stretch at two and a half months of minimum wage salary, which is hard to save up after rent and grocery bills.

Well if you scaled things down a bit, you could drop that to $1k. For example buy a $500 HTIB and a $500 40" TV. By the way, did I mention I bought these things during the height of my college years? All while making less than minimum wage. You know how this is possible? Because I don't spend $200 on a pair of tickets to watch cheesy actors I've never heard of gawk at one another, and instead opt for $8 for an entire month worth of content. I'm probably one of the most financially disciplined people you'll ever run across, in fact in spite of having a credit rating of 842, I have never had any significant debts (I buy with my credit card, and pay the balance in full before it is due, gaining the credit card perks with zero percent interest or any other fees of any kind.) In fact I've never borrowed a cent that I couldn't pay back an hour later.

You're missing some important equipment in the cranium department if this is the primary criterion by which you judge plays.

Or perhaps I'm just not interested in plays. This is just one example; there's also the cost, the time, the inconvenience, and the fact that being at home is far more comfortable. People who listen to opera music have the same attitude that you do towards those who don't enjoy their past time either. Of course, I'm not terribly into TV either, I was just using it as an example. I LOVE video games. To me, they are great artwork, and can be very engaging. But you have people out there like Roger Ebert who foolishly claim that they aren't artwork and just scorn them. People who think that way are absolutely morons when it comes to art, because they don't understand the fundamentals of what makes artwork what it is.

Something tells me that you self identify as liberal, progressive, and tolerant. However your statements have already thrown out all except the first one.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43902297)

That's strange, since the whole time I was in school, I was well below the threshold of what the government defines as poverty.

Well, that just shows the problem with trying to define "poverty" with the most simplistic way (annual income filed on a 1040-EZ). A billionaire who gives enough to charity to add up to $0 annual taxable income is not poor. A playboy frat kid coasting through college on daddy's money into a guaranteed high-dollar position at daddy's firm is not poor. While the simplistic "poverty line" definition is useful in some cases for generally-correct classification, there are certainly plenty of exceptional cases where the simplicity is obviously inadequate. If all "poor" people were just college students living the good life before (nearly guaranteed) placement into well-above-poverty positions, then I wouldn't be worried about "poverty" as a problem. Unfortunately, that's not the case --- and, regardless of the fine details in exactly where you draw the lines, being *actually* poor is a significantly sucky thing (that I don't think is alleviated by access to big flat panel TVs).

I believe in rewarding somebody who does something good. However I don't believe in rewarding anybody who hasn't done anything at all.

I also believe in rewarding folks who do good. But to go with that, it's vital to have systems where people have the *opportunity* to do things in the first place. Extremes of poverty suck most because they steal away that opportunity --- not absolutely; you can always find the few exceptions to prove the rule who rose out of poverty --- but it's a far more uphill battle, often requiring work and effort that would be "heroic" for middle-class just to stay above water. Poverty means you probably won't have good access to education, or even good nutrition (empty calories that make you fat are not a balanced diet for developing child minds); hence poor access to good jobs; even exclusion from the workforce. The same "human material" could be capable of so much more if given opportunity beyond poverty --- but instead, poverty becomes a self-reinforcing cycle of not being able to do anything at all, hence not getting rewarded, hence not being able to do anything at all.

We have real personal autonomy. Far more than we ever have.

Not if you're comparing a poor person today against a rich person of yesteryear (which seemed to be your contention above), unless you're using an especially circular definition of "autonomy" that means "has the biggest TV". Poor person on minimum wage: for at least 40 hours a week, someone else demands where you are, how you dress, what you do, what you say, when you go to the bathroom, even how you move ("your burger assembly time is dropping below 11.3 seconds! No dawdling!"). During the rest of your time, you can't do anything that would jeopardize your ability to serve your corporate masters --- not that you have much energy to do much after grueling days of manual labor. You live in a shitty, crime-ridden neighborhood (because that's all you can afford), one paycheck from being out on the street. You can't afford much travel (if any at all), you have no vacations, your food is cheap and terrible and dull (you can get fat, but not healthy and well-nourished). You call this "real personal autonomy" for the poor because they can choose from a large variety of TV programming. I'd call it a wage-slavery hellhole, with extremely limited options to get out (death, winning the lottery, death, crime, death), TV and car be damned.

But you come and tell me that cars are slave tools....I mean really?

Not entirely --- but the poorer you are, the more your car is a worker-subsidized way to get you to work rather than a self-empowering tool for leisurely road trips and exploration. When gas money is tight, you won't be hopping in the car to cruise 200 miles to visit Grandma or the beach over the weekend. You'll be spending the vast majority of the time (and cost) of operating the car to get you from your shitty slum neighborhood to work or stores, on your own dime. In this scenario, the introduction of the car helps employers at the expense of workers: they can hire from a wider area, not paying wages sufficient to support living in communities near the work site, while unloading all the expense (and an hour or two unpaid work time for commuting) onto the workers. So, just having a car doesn't make you spectacularly rich and free --- only to the extent that you also have the autonomy to use the car for your own ends (can afford the fuel, and the time off) is the technology working for rather than against you. For many people struggling to care for families against poverty, the fairy-tale mythology of car ownership has little to do with the reality.

I'm probably one of the most financially disciplined people you'll ever run across

Good for you. Pat on the head from someone else who's never carried debt. That also makes you (and I) lucky, in addition to disciplined, for never starting in or being forced into debt by external forces. When you start out poor, then have unexpected medical expenses, or want to keep your family off the streets for a short while after losing your job, even a "financially disciplined" person can end up in debt.

Anyway, the ability of a poor person to afford even a cheaper-than-$3k TV is, in my opinion, an exceedingly poor tradeoff for the life that a rich person had in the pre-TV era. Being rich --- never living in fear of being one paycheck or medical mishap away from losing your home; never being cowed into submission by an abusive employer who has you by the balls of threatened unemployment; ability to decide how you'll spend just about every minute of your own time; access to educational, recreational, travel opportunities; knowing your kids have a solid start and the best preparation to rise to their potential --- so many things make being a car-less, TV-less rich guy immensely preferable to today's "so well off" poor with a car and a TV.

Something tells me that you self identify as liberal, progressive, and tolerant. However your statements have already thrown out all except the first one.

I self identify more as left-anarchist, but specific labels are tricky things (rarely providing more illumination than confusion). You're right, I'm openly intolerant of people who want to increase inequality and wealth disparity, to dick over the poor for the benefit of the rich. I'm intolerant of people selling techno-fetishism and shiny baubles as a replacement for freedom.

there's also the cost, the time, the inconvenience, and the fact that being at home is far more comfortable

The original comparison you made was a rich person "back in the day" vs. a poor person today. A rich person isn't troubled by the cost; has plenty of time for their own leisure; and doesn't get tickets to the inconvenient/uncomfortable seats in the theater. Being chauffeured by carriage directly to your private box, with a meal and drinks waiting, doesn't sound like such a bad deal versus watching TV from home. Your reasons for not liking plays seem to primarily stem from not being rich (so you'd get stuck in the peons' line for crappy seats) --- yet you think ye-olde-richguy should be jealous of you (or, rather, someone even poorer than you).

Yes, you've got video games today --- a person from 100 years ago would probably be baffled why you like spending your time that way. You're likely to develop tastes for whatever you grow up with: so videogames versus plays/books/actually-going-out-and-doing-stuff isn't a "win" for technology, merely a "sideways" move from one person's accustomed tastes to anothers'. You don't have it "better" in your time than someone else had in theirs; you just prefer the things in your time, and they prefer the things in theirs. Some human desires, however, are more universal: and to be more free and autonomous and self-actualized (far more available to the rich in any era than the poor today) is not something I'd trade for a few extra inches of TV diagonal.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#43900689)

He's not old fashioned. He just dreams of blowing up his worldly possessions and learning how to make soap.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43900825)

Well, I've already got the beard to be Amish... but I'm really not that much into blowing up my own worldly possessions (a bit too attached to the classic camera lens collection). I'm more partial to the Luddites --- which means blowing up the equipment used to reduce people to subservient interchangeable cogs in a corporate machine.

Re:Not on your life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43901717)

I'm more partial to the Luddites --- which means blowing up the equipment used to reduce people to subservient interchangeable cogs in a corporate machine.

There never seems to be a shortage of people like you [xkcd.com] who talk big and do nothing (like a good corporate servant) except provide themselves as comic fodder of course. All we need is for you to keep thinking you are an individual and to allow you to spread your propaganda and 'dissent' and you will continue to play your valuable part as yet another subservient, interchangeable part of the "corporate machine", loopy nutjobs have their place too.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43901833)

My paychecks for being a double-agent deep-cover reverse-psychology corporate shill seem to be getting lost in the mail; I haven't received one yet. Can you please pass this complaint --- err, observation --- along to the Illuminati (whichever sect is currently in power), and ask them to please double-check their payroll database? My address may have changed since your recruitment mind-control ray last contacted me. Thanks!

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43901855)

Yes because the luddites highly valued a world where even the clothes on your back were just plain shitty unless you were very rich.

To be frank, people like you don't support the poor at all. You think you do, but your goals and values would do nothing but make things more miserable for anybody who isn't rich.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43901961)

Have you read much about the Luddites, aside from sophomoric propaganda setting them up as a straw man? Luddites weren't rich folks coming in to paternalistically interfere with the working classes based on some high-minded abstract idealism. They *were* the working class --- with a very direct "feet on the ground" experience of how technology (in the hands of the rich) was impacting their selves, their families, and their communities. Control over work was shifted entirely away from skilled craftsmen to industrial overlords; very little of the benefit of increased production came back to the workers, though the strain of toiling at ever higher rates, in unhealthy conditions, on extremely dangerous power equipment, for decreasing wages certainly did hit them hard. Initial impacts on "the clothes on your back" were actually quite *negative* --- early machine-made material was coarse, thin, and weak; reduced wages from competition with high-productivity machines made the working class only able to afford the mass-manufactured shoddy goods (with the vast majority being exported to profit the wealthy, rather than increasing overall living standards). Only later labor movement resistance --- (indirectly) inspired in part by Ned Ludd's Hammer --- gained back some of the advantages of mechanization (increased output) for the working class, as they collectively forced better labor conditions and guaranteed wages for more humane working hours by threat/action of strikes and sit-ins and lockouts.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

number17 (952777) | about a year ago | (#43901727)

If big data makes marketing cheaper, then that savings will eventually (though not immediately) make its way to joe sixpack.

How would you explain this trickle down economics in relation to the billions in cash that Apple has? Is it just hard for cash to trickle down?

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about a year ago | (#43902321)

I don't really think so myself. Efficiency is the key thing to making "stuff" more affordable and therefore more ubiquitous.

Relatively cheap is the key to making stuff more ubiquitous. Having a good deal of *demand* is probably even a lot more important. Efficiency may or may not enter into it based heavily on just how much a prototype costs relatively to what the market can bare. Which leads too...

For example, efficiencies in semiconductor fabrication enabled personal computers to be affordable by the average joe, even really poor people, whereas it used to be only the very rich owned them.

No, the integrated circuit (aka semiconductor fabrication itself) is the primary based upon which more than the very rich owned a personal computer. Before that point, all the transistors and wires were a bulky mess which didn't entirely forego the non-very rich from owning a personal computer, but it certainly set the stage for allowing the progressive miniaturization in lithography that were those "efficiencies" you speak of. Yet, well before that point, of course, plenty of people had their own PC. Of course, the IC itself could be said to be an example of the "efficiencies" you speak of, but that's not right really. What made ICs so important is that it allowed the bulk package of everything together which in itself made the production a unified thing. I guess that again could be chalked up to a point of efficiency, like the assembly line, but it was the fact that computers can do so much that spurred so much adoption. Yes, without a lower floor on the price of a PC, computers would certainly be a lot less ubiquitous. But they'd be well outside of the scope of for just "the very rich".

The same thing can be said for cars and Ford's original Model T.

Again, no. Yes, at the start the Model T was more of a novelty to the very rich who could potentially waste a great deal of money on something that may not pan out . But, the very nature of the current shipping system we have today I think shows that there's a strong commercial interest in having a horseless carriage. So, the ubiquitous nature of cars would seem to be based heavily on demand there as well. Of course, being cheaper makes them *more* ubiquitous, but without the demand in the first place...

One key part of this is economies of scale, which means you need to sell large quantities of something in order for it to be affordable by the masses. And subsequently, a key part of that is marketing. Marketing is expensive as hell, and goes into the cost of those goods. If big data makes marketing cheaper, then that savings will eventually (though not immediately) make its way to joe sixpack.

Except the rule has consistently been to spend yet even more money on marketing to spur even further sales to produce further revenue to pay for said marketing. The truth is, big data as a concept is very, very old. It's based on the idea that if you can collect enough information about potential customers, you can make them actual customers. Yet, just like directed advertising, it forgets the key point of marketing is not to sell products but to inform a consumer who has a demand, even if he hasn't fully realized it yet. The thing is, we're already well to the point of having a system where ads can read potential customers. And ads continue to stray further and further into trying to conjure up a demand out of nothing, rather than informing a consumer into a real demand they have.

So, the real specter of big data is to yet further manipulate consumers even more than directed ads do--and if you don't see how trying to create a per-user view of available products doesn't manipulate the consumer, you'll already well lost--by further trying to take what consumers already buy or know and try to match them up with...stuff the select few companies who pay the most want to sell. Meanwhile, all sorts of products the consumer actually knows they want aren't shown and things they don't even realize they want aren't mentioned because marketers and algorithms (and the humans in general) are pretty horrible at predicting the future. Instead, it'll all be about "trends" and "keeping up with the Jones", another manifestation of the disgusting aspect of consumerism.

But, yea, keep telling yourself that efficiencies are the key. No, marketing is like DRM. And consumerism keeps manipulating people into buying crap they don't really want or need. Yet, just like DRM, people keep coming up with interesting waste to circumvent the trends and forge new territory. Instead of focusing on trying to take old data and churn out new details, why not spend a bit more in listening to the real-time demands of people? And I don't mean in being a me-too company that clones the latest game.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

Krojack (575051) | about a year ago | (#43898905)

And some companies enjoy the fact that you pay them to give then your data [forbes.com] only to have them sell it and make even more money.

Re:Not on your life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899119)

Meh.

Seriously, are you hoping to get kicked back a fraction of a penny for your user data?
What corporations are selling is not individual data- that is essentially worthless. What they are selling is large amounts of aggregate data. The amount of compensation that would be owed you just for your data isn't even worth the amount of time it takes to piss and whine about it on slashdot.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

skegg (666571) | about a year ago | (#43900425)

Ah-ha! So, we've established my proposal as sound in principle. Now, we're just haggling over price.

    Jack Sparrow
    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Re:Not on your life ... (3, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43899285)

these companies want your information for free

I would be willing to give them accurate information from free. That would be better than the inaccurate data they have now. Then they could compete to give me what I want, instead of what they think I want. A few months ago, I shopped online for a minivan. The marketers recognized this almost immediately, and I started getting web ads and even paper mail ads. But most of them were very poorly targeted. They tried to sell me SUVs, which I had no interest in, or vans with insufficient seats (I drive a car pool thrice a week for 7 people). Then a week later, I bought the van. Now, months later, I am still getting the ads for vans. I would be really slick if I could tell them the exact criteria I wanted, the best offer I had received so far, and when is my cut off for a final decision. Then they could tailor their offers to me. They would save marketing dollars, and I would save time and get a better deal.

Re:Not on your life ... (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year ago | (#43899475)

I would be really slick if I could tell them the exact criteria I wanted, the best offer I had received so far, and when is my cut off for a final decision. Then they could tailor their offers to me.

But that would never happen. They aren't going to limit their offers to the specific details you give them simply because too many people think they want one thing when they want another, or would want another if they knew about it. If they don't have exactly what you want, or they tell you "here it is" and you don't buy, they don't make a sale. But if they say "here's something like what you asked for..." and you actually like it and buy, they win.

A very trivial anecdote. Two weeks ago I went to a new restaurant. I looked at the menu and based my decision on the descriptions I saw there. After I ordered, I walked by another table and saw what I really wanted. I didn't know I wanted it until I saw it (actually, I thought it was too expensive), and the waiter didn't show it to me based on what I told him I wanted. Had he done so, I'd have bought something that cost almost twice as much and I'd have liked three times better. That's what drives marketing, not trying to meet explicit statements of desire, it's creating desire.

Re:Not on your life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43900005)

>It would be really slick if I could tell them
You can't talk to a machine. The reason you got waist deep in spamshit was because the whole process is automated. Sure, they'd love to custom-build you a tailored negotiation - if it requires zero man hours and a few cents of electricity.

This isn't big brother actively monitoring you, it's just a virtual derp of a drone telling another machine to put you on mailing lists.

Really now, a tailored negotiation? When you're considered little more than cattle?

Re:Not on your life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43902323)

2 years later you are diagnosed with cancer... sucks to be you. Ob.m.rot is all you are to them. The quicker the better.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43900179)

Never going to happen, these companies want your information for free, and in an unregulated way in order to maximize corporate profits.

Hey, if I get to see the RIAA or MPAA argue "no, we wont stop sharing that, it's not stealing, information wants to be free!" it will all be worth it.

Way to Solve This (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | about a year ago | (#43900191)

Is for people to turn over the exclusive status of all their personal data to a non-profit personal data representative, who will then seek payment or punative damanges from any other entity corporate or individual that seeks to use such personal information without first paying for the privilege or first paying for the information they have already obtained without having yet paid for it. The payment would then be sent to the people who provided the non-profit personal data representative with their personal information, minus a small transaction fee to the non-profit to cover the cost of collecting the money and suing for damages or enforcing a cease and desist order as required.

There is no reasons the googles, apples, of the world etc. should get this kind of information for free, since it is not theirs to begin with.

Re:Not on your life ... (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year ago | (#43902293)

Consumers will never get anything here except screwed.

Except for what the consumers are already getting. First of all "BIG" data is only worthwhile in BIG chunks. Your 'chunk' of data isn't big enough, just a drop of water in the pail. It isn't really worth money.
But it is worth goods and services. Because that is what they have been offering you for your data. A lot of people claim you are the product not the consumer for Facebook. And yet Facebook is offering you a service, for you be their product. It might not be a service you like or care for, but many people do find a use for it. And they get it for "free," well paying for it with their data.

Short answer: (2)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about a year ago | (#43898843)

No.

Long Answer (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898949)

No.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Re:Short answer: (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43900861)

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, cables, CD envelopes, etc, are all paid for by the slice I get from Bing.

So whether others will get you a cut or not is up in the air but if any of them are listening I'm a hell of a lot more likely to use your service if i get a slice, no matter how thin that slice is. I'm also more likely to point other people to your service, I've probably had 100 people switch simply by pointing out they can get stuff, from movies to gift cards, just by doing what they were gonna do for free. Its really not a hard sell and once they cash in some points and see how easy it is to get stuff? they're hooked.

It really is in their best interests to give us a slice, because with all the competition we have today for our limited time its an easy way to get and retain users.

Short answer... no.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898849)

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...

Those selling "Big Disks" . . . (0)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43898855)

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

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

Re:Those selling "Big Disks" . . . (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43899097)

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.

flowchart... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898865)

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

Welcome to Serfdom 2.0, scab.

I've often wondered (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898871)

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.

Re:I've often wondered (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898897)

Christianity is not the U.S. religion... it's CEO worship.

Only here would we thing a fatass that does nothing is worth 1000x more money than the people doing the actual designing and footwork.

Re:I've often wondered (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43899123)

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

Already there (0)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year ago | (#43898887)

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 way beyond this with opt-out (or not at all) data collection, sharing, and selling. The only exception seems to be HIPPA in the US. People after your money could only wish to have the level of access the information folks have.

Damn you Pavlov! (4, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#43898899)

You know, my BS meter is starting to get attuned to go off anytime I see 'Big <X>' used as a proper noun.

Re:Damn you Pavlov! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Damn you Pavlov! (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43899359)

That's just Big Idiocy at work.

Re:Damn you Pavlov! (1)

Radiophobic (1973144) | about a year ago | (#43899477)

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.

Re:Damn you Pavlov! (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43900067)

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.

You should be paid for watching television (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year ago | (#43898913)

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 though means if the feds are having a bad day, they'll ruin your business model. It doesn't have to be just poker, you could have competitive video games in general.

Oh and just so you guys catch wind of this semiabusive style of player treatment: Combine Freemium with "Able to win money back". Then you'll have players who think they're investing by buying into your pay to win scheme.

Smart Meters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898915)

Got a smart meter a year and a half ago. Don't have access to any of the data.

I may be the only one on the block that got one, though. Fuckers still haven't got me because there is nothing going on!

Re:Smart Meters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899101)

I got a smart meter late last year, and my power company is constantly sending me stuff about all the "cool data" I now have access to.

Not that I care enough to look at that data (or to even look at what the data is). So for all I know, I don't actually have access to "the good stuff".

Compensation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898925)

Don't people already get compensation with free email, social networking, calendar and office apps from Google/Facebook etc? I know I get mine in the form of free 2-day shipping from Amazon. You can either pay for services with cash, or you can pay for them with your personal information. Asking for both seems a bit greedy to me.

Re:Compensation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899409)

I don't think you meant it this way, but I'm not sure how you might've meant it. So I'll just ask, it is greedy to want to be able to choose to pay with cash or with information?

An intolerable precedent. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898937)

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.

Re:An intolerable precedent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43898959)

You don't want corporations to make money off your back?

What are you, a motherfucking communist??

Re:An intolerable precedent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899523)

+1 lol

captcha: billon

Re:An intolerable precedent. (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43900285)

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 apartment, or even getting a job if you don't "willingly pay" whatever chunk of data your plutocratic corporate overlords demand.

Well, we are fucked... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43898943)

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.

Re:Well, we are fucked... (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about a year ago | (#43899373)

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

Re:Well, we are fucked... (1)

vidnet (580068) | about a year ago | (#43900779)

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?

Re:Well, we are fucked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43900787)

The statement means very different things depending on the country and its consumer protection and banking laws. Somehow the idea that a value is put to observations made by a second or a third party is making me nervous. A contract compensating for such observations must clear for all parties for it to be valid and legal. Besides, selling ones personal information carries tax implications which are sometimes complicated.

I don't want a piece of the action. (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:I don't want a piece of the action. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43901581)

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 (5, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#43898969)

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.

Re:They already do (2)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43899055)

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 for it.

Re:They already do (4, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43899301)

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.

Re:They already do (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#43899805)

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 public anyway, it seems pretty win-win. Google gives me several hundred dollars worth of hosting every year, Facebook gives me (probably) hundreds in hosting and communication, Pandora streams me music in return for my preferences and eyeballs, Kroger knows what kind of bread I buy and chips in $10-$20/mo for gas. I feel I'm getting value for my product (me), and that's good enough for me.

Re:They already do (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43900975)

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 Krogers can know how to mark up all the other products you buy while keeping you hooked with a few "amazing deal" loss-leaders. The better Krogers knows how to manipulate each consumer, the more (asymmetrical) advantage they'll have for subtly price gouging you with complex pricing schemes: "look, what a great deal on avocados today! Soap seems a little more expensive than I remembered, but I may as well pick it up while I'm here." The less Krogers can tell about the complex buying patterns of their customers, the more they'll be stuck simply competing on best price for each individual item, instead of elaborate pricing strategies to cause market confusion and make it harder for consumers to competitively shop around.

Re:They already do (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#43901277)

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, when on sale, is competitively priced in primal cuts. I actually shop based on loss leaders and buy what I can use before the sale date. I do pick up extras in the store, but generally only things I know the price of. If it's not a bargain, and I don't need it for a specific meal, it stays on the shelf.

Sadly, you describe how my wife shops, and it burns me to no end the money she seems to be willing to throw away for the sake of convenience - which is why I try to do the shopping for the more expensive items myself. The whole targeted setup does make it harder for those who aren't careful. For those who are, it is an advantage.Luckily, my signature holds in general and I get to be the one who benefits from their loss.

As a side note, I used to shop a Stater Bros. in So Cal. They were just plain awesome. The stores were older, but clean, and the prices were (back then) awesome because they never went into debt to fund expansion. Their stores were all served by the limits of their warehouse distribution and they stopped expanding when they hit that limit.

Re:They already do (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43901577)

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 with, but which will eventually be hard to avoid in our corporate-centric nation. "Special deals, just for you": prices ("reduced" from the ridiculously marked up "default" on-shelf prices) displayed specially for your identity-tied shopping cart, algorithmically generated to maximize profit from your own purchasing behavior. Wave goodbye to meaningful comparison shopping or any market price transparency.

Re:They already do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43901539)

Did you then sell those records to a US insurance company, who went on to deny health care to millions of sick americans?

(Edit: Captcha: pleurisy, which hurts. Haven't had it? Then you probably are still able to get health insurance.)

Re:They already do (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899349)

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?

Re:They already do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43900571)

Goods and services are cheaper if companies can predict demand more precisely. It's not all evil advertising.

Re:They already do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899689)

VuDyne

Bunch of fools (3, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#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.

Google already started a version of it (3, Informative)

Sedated2000 (1716470) | about a year ago | (#43899115)

Google has already tried this. [arstechnica.com]

Re:Google already started a version of it (1)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#43899529)

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 not they (whoever they are) have my data to pass on to trusted partners at I expect a good price.

Re:Google already started a version of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43901195)

Ghostery is also selling your data to advertisers:

http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/31/ghostery-a-web-tracking-blocker-that-actually-helps-the-ad-industry/

my data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899151)

They compare the value of personal data to that of money, but what is the value of someone's data if they're willing to give it up? What's the value of a dollar if everyone is willing to give it up?

In this way, wha'ts the difference between the big companies and a begger on the street? I'll tell you the difference. In this way, the begger will eventually gain enough power to begin directing streets themselves, to flow traffic nearer to where he's standing, and there will be a toll eventually.

Selling information about yourself, cannot ever make you worth more. It can only make you worth less (not worthless).

how many glass beads you want for this island? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899199)

you people are insane. it what world do my activities and product preferences matter enough as a contribution
that its a substantial fraction of my overall worth to society (income)

Big Data (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43899485)

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?

I've said it before, I'll say it again: (2)

tocsy (2489832) | about a year ago | (#43899591)

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

Already too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43899831)

It's already too late for a nice, symbiotic relationship between the data gatherers and the public. Even if the abuses of power and creeping surveillance from the last decade were rolled back, it is no longer just geeks who mistrust corporations, the government and anyone else who want to know everything about them. The seeds of suspicion are now deeply rooted in the general public consciousness. As it happens, most of the entities which make up the burgeoning 'surveillance industrial complex' have little interest in playing nice anyway.

Big data currently relies mostly on deception, with a little coercion. Offering free services to entice people to give away their data before they realise what they're doing counts as deception, but people are slowly getting wise to this. Hence, the future will see a shift to more coercion, where you don't really have a choice to opt out of being spied upon, at least if you want to remain a part of society. A fairly 'soft' example would be when every ISP starts selling your browsing habits to the highest bidder, and the only way out is to either not use the internet at all or relying on open wifi etc. The harder examples typically involve the government passing some new law which makes it illegal not to give your data away in situations where previously you wouldn't have to.

Comedy Club quotes.... (1)

rts008 (812749) | about a year ago | (#43900289)

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

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

How Do I Opt Out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43900771)

I do not want any of my medical records being stored electronically. I do not want any of my personal being bought and sold by anyone - including me. Why can't I have a say in what happens to my own data?

Pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43900935)

Do what I do, when I get telemarketing calls I poison my information by giving false data (I am single but different companies think I have spouses - my imaginary partners all have different names) and where possible give different callers different data about your views, lifestyle, family, and income. Try putting together any kind of picture about me from multiple marketing sources and it won't make any sense or it will at least look like I'm a bigamist.

Nope (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#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...

Tail wags dog? (1)

JimtownKelly (634785) | about a year ago | (#43901971)

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.
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