Big Data: The End of Privacy?

Big Data

“Big Data: The End of Privacy?” was the theme of a D.Bates panel that took place on the Geneva campus of Webster University on Thursday, March 30th, 2017. Organized by Pr. Fernando Lagraña, Director of the Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) program and moderated by Pr. Dominique Jolly, Chair of the Walker School of Business and Technology, this D.Bates session focused on technology and usage aspects of the massive data collection trend that we witness today, with a special focus on journalism and health care.

Xavier Tanazacq, EMEA Business Development Manager for the Economist and DBA student, gave insight on how data is utilized by media organizations beyond recommendation of related articles. He informed the audience of the widespread use of Big Data in unexpected areas such as politics and he underlined the importance of privacy for media companies. Beyond the obvious protection of the information sources, a privacy breach would seriously impact the trust-relationship between a company and its client’s data protection.

Dr. Claude Chaudet, Head of the IT department at Webster Geneva Campus, spoke about data security, the issues and risks related to the information storage in the globalized Cloud, but also on the benefits and opportunities available through the massive data. Dr. Françoise Maillard, Head of the Healthcare management program at Webster Geneva gave the final presentation on the value that technology, including massive databases and robotics, brings to health care. She also evoked the growing concern of patients’ data protection for hospitals, focusing on the issue of hacking.

A question and answer session followed the presentations and showed that privacy and, more generally, data security is a concern for everyone. This concern is one which needs to be addressed before each of us accepts to voluntarily contribute to large databases, feeding big data algorithms that will eventually unleash their full potential and shape the future.