4 Ways Big Data Is Affecting Your Life

Written by Chloe Harwood

Big data is very much a ‘thing’ these days, and one that many people are concerned about. It’s a privacy issue, mainly. What, exactly, do these people know about you, and what protection is there for the average person on the street? We thought we would look into five ways that big data is affecting your life, and give you some hints on what to do if you are worried. Let’s gets stuck into big data straight away.


Now, essentially, when marketers use big data about you, it is to your benefit. The idea is that they use cookies to collect information about your search habits and provide you with ads targeted to your interests. However, perhaps you don’t want people to know what you are looking for, and find it creepy? You’re in good company if that is the case. Your best bet, then, is never to use the Internet. Or, if you want to limit the effects of your searches, use Google’s Incognito mode, or your browser’s equivalent. Finally, you can install something like Ad Blocker to rid yourself of those pesky ads. However, bear in mind that something like this will only hide the ads, rather than your information.


Healthcare providers have to give out certain information about you to various others. Law enforcement, for example, or insurance companies and employers. However, all that sensitive info about you could be used against you if somebody nefarious go their hands on it. If your provider has healthcare software utilizing big data, make sure that they are HIPAA compliant. This should give you the reassurance you need that your sensitive details are being protected.


Many companies – large and small – collect a lot of data about their customers and use it to improve their offer. Is your business doing the same? If so, it is vital that you have robust security in place, or you could end up with an embarrassing – and costly – situation on your hands. If a hacker manages to get into your system and makes off with the details of your customers, you could be open to a lawsuit. The likelihood is that you will also lose a lot of clients, whether it was your fault or not.


Big data in terms of crime could end up costing you money. How? Well, the data is used to pinpoint how safe – or unsafe – a particular area is. Insurance companies use these figures to set their prices, and the more crime there is where you live, the higher your premiums can be. This data can also have an effect on the price of your house – with catastrophic effects in rare cases. Let’s say that you have been living somewhere for many years, paying off your mortgage. All it takes is a few undesirables to move in, start causing crime, and the local house prices could plummet.

As you can see, big data can have a dramatic impact on all of our lives although it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is important to understand and deal with the consequences. Let us know if you have any thoughts about big data and what it means for society.

About the author

Chloe Harwood