According to the article, Four Billion Little Brothers?, The issue of privacy is far more relevant in modern times than it was in the past. It states that this is mostly due to the influence of cell phones in the social space. Though they have many uses, as a phone, music player, social networking tool, or camera, they also collect lots of information from you, such as location data, messages sent, and where you commonly travel or even eat. That being said, how harmful the data collection may be is totally based upon two things, the organization gathering the information, and the person who uses their product. “Research that uses mobile phones to collect data for personal or social projects is called mobile, urban, or participatory sensing,” (Shilton, 50) Participatory sensing puts a higher emphasis on the individual who gives the data, and makes the information accessible to those who are giving, not just those who receive. That being said, there is still a concern as to the amount of data being revealed in participatory sensing. Controlling whether or not any data receives the researcher is one thing, but controlling the specific amount is something completely different. To conclude, they state that in the end privacy option and control will be dictated almost purely by the developers. Users will only have the options to control privacy if the developer enables it.
While privacy may be a subject of discussion, this article makes out privacy to be something that should be feared, rather than something that should be embraced. I believe that the amount of data sent to the company’s conducting the data is nearly harmless to the individual, unless of course the individual has some intent on criminal activity. This is because the only feedback the sender will receive from this data collection comes in the form of advertising, a thing so common in our society it has become pretty much harmless. There are also benefits to sharing information. For example a company like Google collects a gratuitous amount of information from users around the world. They then use this data to create powerful social tools which have now become integrated into everyday life. Therefore, unless you are a criminal, I believe that they benefits of information mining greatly outweighs the negatives.