Sometimes the idea of Big Data sounds clever. Let's mine vast quantities of data to figure out important things, like which flavor of jelly bean is the best.
In reality though, this is going to create a lot of trouble. Experian Sold Consumer Data to ID Theft Service. When personal data is a commodity, things start to get weird fast. Almost all of our laws around buying and selling don't really work when we try to apply them to bits. If I sell you some data, I don't lose the original, I don't have to make another thing. I can make an exact copy, and once you have that copy, you can make copies. There is basically no cost involved in making exact copies.
The thing that worries me a bit is that if the "experts" in protecting personal information can't get this right, we're pretty much doomed. It doesn't matter how much regulation we create around this stuff, people are going to mess it up. I suspect the right answer will be to make various bits of personal data less useful. Right now in the US if you have a social security number you basically have the keys to the kingdom. We need a way to make those numbers mostly harmless.
I agree. "Big Data" is a term like is just a "lost leader" to make business and Governments sound "credible". "Big Data" could nothing more than than selling "our" data to the highest bidder. No integrity. In today's lingo, "Big" means "private" and "data" means "online/phone data". "Private onlne data" being sold to highest bidder, count me out. That also goes for "Obama care" taxes US Citizens for the right not to have healthcare... blashpheme! !!! (Can I emphasize enough?)