March 11, 2011

Big Data mining: Who owns your social network data?

An attractive application of Hadoop and other Big Data technologies is to analyze users' social activities, sometimes without their express knowledge

By Paul Krill | InfoWorld

The now-trendy concept of Big Data usually implies ever-growing hordes of data, including unstructured info posted on Facebook and Twitter, and ways of gleaning intelligence from all of it to create business opportunities. The concept, however, also carries with it risks for anyone opening up about themselves on the Internet and raises questions about who exactly owns all this data.

Big Data is associated with technologies such as the Apache Hadoop distributed computing platform and is prompting some technology companies, including IBM, to make major acquisitions. But the term "Big Data," claims GigaOm analyst Derrick Harris, is a bit of a misnomer; it's really about data from different sources, including social networks and even cell phones. "It's coming from sensors, it's coming from computers, it's coming from the Web," he says.

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