Don’t Build a Database of Ruin – HBR

Here is food for thought — author opines we are headed for diseaster if our focus isn’t redirected.  Reality check?  What do you think?  Data management and mining

Excerpt:  Many businesses today find themselves locked in an arms race with competitors to see who can convert customer secrets into the most pennies. To try to win, they are building perfect digital dossiers, to use a phrase coined by Daniel Solove, massive data stores containing hundreds, if not thousands or tens of thousands, of facts about every member of our society. In my work, I’ve argued that these databases will grow to connect every individual to at least one closely guarded secret. This might be a secret about a medical condition, family history, or personal preference. It is a secret that, if revealed, would cause more than embarrassment or shame; it would lead to serious, concrete, devastating harm. And these companies are combining their data stores, which will give rise to a single, massive database. I call this the Database of Ruin. Once we have created this database, it is unlikely we will ever be able to tear it apart.

Read full article via Don’t Build a Database of Ruin – Paul Ohm – Harvard Business Review.

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