|Giving off Data while Fishing :)😬😲😀|
Imagine if you tapped into a few large databases that companies or government entities have been using to store information and in an instant you can determine a persons income, medical records, hobbies, interests, friends, etc... You may know more about them then they know about themselves. That is real power!
On a macro level you could analyze people's opinions and come to conclusions about how different beliefs are impacted by culture. Those countries that are cultural generators share a way of thinking that impacts other nations. With Big Data we may someday have enough information to see which cultures influence others and to what level.
It is important to remember that data is predictive as well. It can predict who is going to win an election, how people are going to react to events, which groups are supporting which causes, and even whether or not war is coming. Connecting databases together tells you a lot about the world you don't know.
Lets say you are looking at pictures of vacations online, logged into your bank account, moved over to another screen and checked your credit card statement, bounced over to see the prices of airfare, looked at a new tent, and finally emailed your friend about taking a future outdoor vacation. Would this be enough to predict behavior? It may not be 100% predictive but a company would know what type of items I should be displaying on advertisements directed to you.
Now add the online behaviors of an entire nation into a mega-database. By just monitoring online "chatter" you can gauge peoples opinions. Through historical knowledge of previous "chatter" and social events you can predict societal behavior and reaction. You can determine the outcome of an event and its impact on peoples lives. Maybe not with perfect accuracy but you can have confidence.
Is this a good thing?
Its a little freaky and no one has truly done it on that level yet but it is possible. People are concerned that too much data is being concentrated into the hands of a few large companies. For those who have influence over such large predictive "big data" its a wonderful thing. For foreign countries that want to gain information about individuals and events it is also a great thing. But for those who want privacy, governments that want to ensure national interests, etc.... it may not be such a great thing! Legislation will determine how much information can be held by specific parties but technology and access will determine who has access to the wise swaths of information.