Data is turning into a four-letter word. And if we don’t get beyond the hype to understand it a little better, we’re going to be four-letter worded (you know the one).
Data is the language of technology we use every day. The connection with a long-lost pal over social media. The convenience of ordering a meal and having it show up where you are. The ability to stream endless entertainment, much of it for free. The ad for luggage timed just right with an upcoming trip. All made possible by data.
But those fundamentally opposed to data use, coupled with sensationalized media stories, have played on the public’s lack of knowledge – creating an environment of fear, mistrust and misunderstanding. To them, the answer is to lock data down to such narrow use cases and limited players that the innovative data environment we experience today would simply become a relic of the past.
The reality of how data serves people is lost to conflation. There is a general misconception that data is dangerous, so therefore all companies that use it are dangerous. The good actors have become conflated with the bad, and good data use with misuse – it’s all lumped together.
So how do we untangle this mess?