- Paperback: 108 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (2 Oct. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449305008
- ISBN-13: 978-1449305000
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 0.6 x 23.3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,222,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Privacy and Big Data Paperback – 2 Oct 2011
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About the Author
Terence Craig is the CEO and CTO of PatternBuilders, a “big data” analytics services and solution provider that helps organizations across industries understand and improve their operations with advanced analytics. Terence has an extensive background in building, implementing, and selling analytically-driven enterprise and SaaS applications across such diverse domains as enterprise resource planning (ERP), professional services automation (PSA), and semi-conductor process control in both public and private companies. With over 20 years of experience in executive and technical management roles with leading-edge technology companies, Terence brings a unique and innovative view of what is needed—from both an operational and technology perspective—to build a world class hosted analytics platform designed to improve companies’ and organizations’ profitability and efficiencies. He is also a frequent speaker, blogger, and “commenter” on technology, startups, analytics, data security, and data privacy ethics and policy.
Mary Ludloff is Vice President of Marketing for PatternBuilders, a “big data” analytics services and solutions provider. Mary is an innovative marketing executive with more than 20 years of experience in enterprise software. She brings an in-depth understanding of how to develop and implement strategic program initiatives that span marketing disciplines—ranging from the traditional corporate and marketing fields to the latest developments in digital marketing. Through her work at PatternBuilders and other companies in the business intelligence and data warehousing space, she also brings a deep understanding of supply chain management issues, the use of business intelligence tools in data warehousing and analytic application efforts, and the impact of big data analytics on data privacy and security.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Terence Craig and Mary Ludloff take the reader on a swift but informed journey across the landscape of modern privacy issues arising from our online life. Predictably the book is full of caution and warning - it is no surprise that our private information is doing the rounds in places that we don't know, and governments are encroaching our privacy under the banner of national security. Orwell's Big Brother isn't alive and well - he has been replaced by an even more worrisome industry of data aggregators who make their living by combining our on-line information from multiple sources.
The strong points of the book are many. A cogent discussion of the issues, a review of the various approaches to legislation in the US, Europe, China and even my home nation, Australia. And what I liked most - a balanced assessment of the risks and a nod towards the upside - all that 'free' stuff we get on the web courtesy of surrendering our personal information.
The downsides of the book? Not many, although I would have liked the authors to have shared some more of their insights into what the world might look like in ten years hence. Not crystal ball gazing, just what some of the implications might be depending on how current developments play out.
If you have a couple of hours to spare (the book is under 100 pages) and you want to get your head around the hard facts of the current privacy dilemmas arising from your online life, then you could do a lot worse than cast an eye over this publication. If you want something philosophical with big picture stuff and something to send shudders up your spine, then this is probably not what you are after.
Readers should also be aware that the tone is far from objective. It deviates from the bulk of O'Reilly's outstanding library in that it is not a scholarly presentation but is instead infused with the authors' personal negative viewpoint. It's possible that they are intentionally attempting to create a demand for their business services by inspiring fear.
My concern about the rigor of their sources was highlight by the inclusion of a reference from [...]
In general, there is not enough information and insight in this book to warrant spending money on it. Instead, if you are interested in a superficial listing of agencies and constraints, I suggest skimming through a library copy or better yet, do an online search on "digital privacy" to retrieve more informative online sources.
I am glad I read this book, as it is truly an eye opener. I believe we should all be aware to the extent to which our personal, and even public data, is being used. We, even in this digital age, need to have privacy. Although we are not doing anything wrong and have nothing to hide, we still don’t feel comfortable with all the data that is kept on us. For instance, I was a member of the bead-a-month-club for a few months, after which I cancelled my subscription. Within a few months I started getting mail delivered to me requesting that I join such and such club which were for young children, all younger than age twelve. My kids are already grown. Now I know where those letters came from, but they’re info is definitely wrong. Or maybe I am, since I had previously bought items on Amazon for Christmas, for all the grandkids.
It’s really a scary thought how much data that so many people are privy to when it comes down to it. I personally don’t think it’s a good thing for anyone to have that much data about us. If you’re concerned about your privacy, or just want to know more, do yourself a favor. Read this book! It will answer many questions you may have, and you might even enjoy the book because it is written in a very engaging style. I recommend this book to anyone who wonders, “Where does all this data go? Who exactly has access to our data? And, most importantly, exactly what do they intend to do with it?"
Structure and Style
The book divides in 5 parts. Part I describes our big data environment, part II discussed the right to privacy in the digital age, part III provides an overview of the main regulators, part IV identifies the main players, and part V tries to thread a needle through the four previous parts of the book. With the exception that it would have been more coherent to place part IV immediately after part I, the book was otherwise well organized, well written and easy read. The obvious creativity reflected in both author's style of writing makes the book entertaining and enjoyable to read. For lawyers and legal academics, this book is certainly good and pleasant break for the mind.
The authors both admit to not being lawyers, academics, or privacy advocates. Indeed, both authors come from a private business background: Terence Craig is the CEO of a company named Patternbuilders, and Mary Ludoff is Vice President of Marketing for Patternbuilders. Yet, chapters 2, 3 and most of chapter 4 deal with issues that fit squarely within the legal domain. For instance, Chapter 2 discusses the right to privacy in the digital age, a rather complex issue which legal academics and lawyers are constantly and vividly debating. Chapter 3 deals with Data Privacy regulators, an area which, properlly understood, can only be authoritatively addressed with the right degree of insight, knowledge, comprehension and expertize.
Perhaps due to this very same reason, the authors are often found making general, overly broad, and sometimes critically mistaken claims, such as "once data has been collected, consumers have absolutely no control over who uses it or how it is used". This last statement ignores the multitude of investigations, reviews, and cases by regulators (which surprisingly are not discussed or alluded to in chapter 3) and the courts which have been advanced by consumers against the private sector. These statements are never valuable in that they inform lawyers and academics of public perceptions, and that more needs to be done in order to inform the public about the rights, and how personal data can effectively be controlled even when shared.
Another more critical over-statement is made by the authors when they state that data or information is more valuable than gold. This statement ignores the fundamental truth which is at the very heart of the data privacy and protection debate that is, the value of data or information isn't the data or information itself, it is what it potentially enables those who posses it to do with it. This is one critical but fine distinction that is too often overlooked.
Despite the above comments, anyone well versed in data privacy and protection/cybersecurity issues would echo the thought that the book does an excellent job a providing a comprehensive though general overview of the privacy debate. As one major obstacle standing in the way of greater consumer privacy protection is an important lack of knowledge from the consumer's end, this short and pleasant read is in that sense invaluable and unquestionably provides an excellent and logical starting point for anyone interested in the privacy debate. This book gains even further value when read in conjunction with more detailed and current updates in the area of data privacy and cybersecurity. In this last regard, readers may be interested in complementing the read of the book "Privacy and Big Data" with online blogs such as [...] or even [...] Both blogs will allow the reader to better relate the contents of the books to concrete current events.