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10 surprising ways companies use your private info

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Not so private anymore

Mention big data to the average person on the street and you'll often get a yawn—or outrage. It's an overarching term that generally brings one of two things to mind: the NSA's PRISM project or automated suggestions at major e-commerce sites. Either way, the assumption is it's not something that affects their day-to-day lives.

But there's a lot more to big data than snooping and up-selling. And, as it becomes an increased part of business life, it's having a bigger impact on everyday occurrences than you might realize.

Companies and other entities are using the digital footprints you leave, knowingly and unknowingly, to influence a number of things you'd never expect had any ties to big data. Click ahead to see 10 examples.

By Chris Morris, Special to
Posted 23 Sept. 2013

Mark Wragg | E+ | Getty Images