The Dirt Behind Data Mining

Data mining has become one of the most important data analysis tools for many businesses. Data mining gives massive amounts of insights about individuals to which brands then target. Given the amount of data that this brings in, it has come under some scrutiny. People are skeptical about their personal information being targeted by data mining because they are “inadvertently” allowing these brands to take their information.

When I look at data mining, I see it from both sides. It’s a great method to advertise and target the public, but at the same time you are providing personal information to “unknown” sources. The information that is collected ranges from in-depth to general, but it’s all part of the process. Even if you are nameless, you can still be identified. This makes data mining such a powerful and unique tool.


Regardless of the benefits of data mining, people aren’t entirely willing to give their “trust” in people. I think that some will accept that there are those companies who use this information positively and necessary, but there are also those who use it for the wrong thing. This is a fine line that still needs some restructuring if data mining is going to win over the general public.

The question is, have you lost your privacy? Have I lost my privacy? The answer I give is that is debatable. I feel it becomes harder and harder every day to protect anything you do online, but when do I start “accepting” it? The answer is now! There is little to nothing you can do to avoid it, so I feel you might as well look at it for the good things it does.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not still concerned about various aspects: privacy, trust, what is my information being used for, how much do they know, etc. My primary concern is trust. I like to dataknow what information someone has on me and how they are using it. This makes it tough because this information isn’t easily findable (if at all). On the plus side, there are guidelines that are set up for data mining. The one guideline that I feel is lacking is that people aren’t being made aware of how their information is being used.

You can’t justify a clear public interest, because it’s never decisive. Not everyone feels the same way about anything, and something of the magnitude of data mining comes in, there will always be a split. Nevertheless, if there was a guideline that gave people insight into exactly how their personal information is being used, then maybe they would begin to trust data mining just a little bit more….or not?