Edward Snowden would fit right in, in Silicon Valley. Two in five software engineers working on big data solutions say that government agencies are tracking the data they're collecting, creating, and analyzing. And if you only ask those who are confident they could tell if the government was indeed spying on their data, that number goes up to 59 percent, according to a new study from Evans Data, reported on by VentureBeat.
U.S. and Soviet spies during the Cold War assumed it wasn't just their enemy but their own government keeping tabs on them, so maybe this really isn't paranoia at all, but just the facts of life in the brave new world of meta data-crunching by the world's superpowers.
"Big data and big government both bring unique challenges," said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data. "Security becomes not only a technical issue but can also become a policy issue that developers may not be able to address. In addition, cloud platforms, while providing necessary scalability for big data, may also increase the risk of governmental eavesdropping."
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The fields and arenas of professional sports are a testing ground for the return on investment that's possible from data analytics, and nothing did as much to popularize the concept of big data in sports as "Moneyball." But maybe the data gospel has gone too far in the sports world? Are teams really gaining a competitive edge from data analytics that is worth the investment, or could it soon become an area of diminishing returns, especially outside of Moneyball's specific sport's example: baseball. Dallas Mavericks owner and data fan Mark Cuban would likely say no, but how does he make use of data in a sport like basketball, where a point can be scored from anywhere at any time. Nine innings, 27 outs, 25 possibilities on every play—it all makes baseball the only "natural" for data analytics in the professional sports context.