Social media is filled with stories of how ads pop up, especially when people are interested in a particular product. Marketers and advertisers always try to turn the story around, but we have discovered that our phones are not possessed. Neither is it bad to like an item, click on a button, or visit a website. Thanks to the massive amount of data we feed the system, many marketers have a lot of information about us.
You must have heard, ‘Data is the new oil.’ Its extensive use might make it sound like a catchy phrase picked up by internet users. Conversely, research made us realize the extensive worth of online data and privacy. It also showed that the sentence is not a cliché.
Companies manage tons of resources and unify the entire data available from big sources, such as social networking apps and third-party website cookies. We hardly second guess the motives of these apps before signing in to them and a host of other platforms. As a result, companies make massive profits from our online information.
It is not strange to say most search engines are data collection points. Besides, companies can exploit them for individual purposes as long as they have the money and connection to access them. They will ultimately make more money from the data after accessing them. It’s such a business transaction.
Since the inception of the internet, data privacy has been a huge deal we have debated extensively. Even the European Union commission, through the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), has also laid bare how data is hugely important and the constant need to regulate it.
In this era of big data, the urgent need to make profits has led to the creation of data mining companies. These companies stem from the ideas of the rich and powerful, who exploit our personal information and use it for their gain. Of course, we can't rule out the benefit of data in helping us gain insights beyond cognitive abilities in a short time frame. Still, the adverse effect of data mining times makes us have a blurry viewpoint on the supposed benefits it truly offers.
Those within the tech ecosystem know that AI (Artificial Intelligence) needs big data, which serves as its nutritional ingredients, to thrive. In other words, AI feeds on data to thrive, increasing its accuracy and becoming more adept at making decisions. Likewise, AI-powered systems and databases work on the pieces of information we feed into them.
In the age of privacy, we all want our data to be safely secured with companies. Yet, we willingly give out information to them in the form of the simple clicks we make, the time we take to analyze a product, the unending surveys that pop up on our screens, digital forms we fill out for trial access, and the feedback we give. This is too much information that people in these places are always glad to have.
Powerful people have studied and know that the data we share opens new frontiers and gives them insights into our personalities. They learn and monitor our likes, dislikes, time spent online, websites we visit, the content we enjoy watching, etc. Therefore, they track us and implore us to sign up for different offers to get us to do more and gain more information.
Most times, we do their bidding without batting an eyelid because we are in a rush to enjoy the freebies offered. After that, they gather data generated from us and send it to data-driven companies ready to exploit the huge benefits these data provide. Then the process ends with monetizing the data.
With the data reservoir at the disposal of the rich and powerful, a lot can happen. These people can always sample demographic perception on a general idea, influence our decisions, and influence our spending habits by incessantly pushing a product. Consequently, they'll make increased profits.
In summary, data is an asset. Therefore, the rich and powerful will continue to exploit data for personal gains. Even though they might argue that the data gathered is meant to improve our lives, they benefit from them. Be careful what information you share or content you interact with on your device as a user.
The powerful have their way around monetizing data. They do this meticulously and do not get into trouble. If your company needs to monetize user data, we can show you how to do it properly and not flout privacy laws.