Big Data And The Quantified Self – Endless Possibilities,Little Privacy


Quantified Self Movement is hot!  Software, sensors and networks are being synergistically used to monitor sleep, moods, health, daily activities and every thing in between.  A staggering number of devices are readily available- just put them on and they start logging you.  Number of steps you walked, calories you took, your pulse rate while jogging, your blood oxygen level, etc. are all recorded, in many cases shared on dedicated websites, and you get rewarded back through points, badges, bragging rights and many other goodies- gamification in full swing!

The data so collected has all the characteristics of Big Data, and, as such, all the tools available for the processing of big data- storing, curing, mining, visualizing, aggregating etc.- can be applied to this huge mountain of personal data.

When this data of quantified self is churned through the humongous big data machine, many meaningful and interesting insights surface. Many applications are already there that use these insights.  Many more are yet to come.  From health and fitness to data-driven mass-customized objects, customized drugs, customized preventive treatment, customized sports coaching, early warnings of diseases, etc.; this domain is full of promises. 

Concerns regarding privacy, however, remain very much there.  We might get an awareness of our very own selves like never before in the human history and at the same time open our selves up through our data to big insurance, marketing and other behemoths, standing stark naked in the big corporate jungle, digitally. Choice? Probably we have very little of that.  This technology footprint in our daily lives is sure to impact all of us in all its shades-the good, the bad and the ugly.

 


About Tarique Haider

Tarique Haider is an engineer by training, a pacifist at heart and a teacher by choice. He believes in a better tomorrow through education and technology. Connect with him on Google+