Open Data Society: A Step Into The Future

by Daphné Huang

“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.” – Peter Sondergaard, Gartner Research

As of today, there are more than 2.62 billion active users on social media. With the upcoming adoption of the GDPR in May 2018, user privacy and the protection of personal information is the center of an important debate.

A Deloitte report finds that 90% of US consumers interviewed “agree or strongly agree” with the following statement: “Consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies.” Social media users are concerned about the dangers and risks of their data. The stricter regulations are thus expected to improve privacy and to protect consumers.

However, while some users are unwilling to share their data and claim protection for their digital profiles, others argue that an open data society has many benefits, notably growth, ingenuity and innovation. In this case, a more interesting Newsfeed content, improved search results or recommendations could be enabled by the algorithms that structure the big data. Additionally, an important meta-analysis collecting over 150 studies introduced the privacy paradox: users who were the most concerned about privacy were found to the most careless and open on their personal information on social media.

These findings lead to question the advantages and disadvantages of creating an open data society. How would end-consumers react to such a situation? Would you share your data?