Review of The Article "The Threat of Big Data Surveillance" by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 718 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: May 19, 2020

Words: 718|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: May 19, 2020

Using big data surveillance means to obtain vast amount of data which is then stored, combined and analysed, to eventually create patterns that reveals trends used for governance, marketing and security. We are constantly being tracked through our daily routine, with most not aware that this is happening. The article discusses the issues left behind by our digital clues or footprints, whether through computer log-ins, social media or electronic ID cards. While most know about these forms of tracking and how to avoid it, sometimes we can’t. Our cars can be tagged through automatic license plate readers and our face recorded through surveillance cameras. The data obtained on us can also be legally requested by the government and while the internet of things continues to develop, so does our privacy concerns.

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Big data policing is continuously rising and with that the development of more civil rights issue activists. These activists discuss the issues of what form of data is being collected on us, what type of rules are in place to handle our data, how to control how the data is used, and who has access to this data. The police blindingly accept these technological advancements and surveillance technology without questioning the system or obtaining citizen oversight and input.

Although technology and surveillance are being upgraded and developed, our privacy laws have not. Many have seen the problem with this, including various governments. Thus, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been developed. This is a regulation law in the European Union (EU) on the data protection and privacy concerns an all individuals within the EU, the European Economic Area, and around the world. While this is a step in the right direction, most other governments can’t seem to follow even though most privacy acts have been drafted before the digital age.

Most of us aimlessly click ‘I agree’ when coming upon a terms and conditions contract, while not knowing exactly what we are agreeing to. While some are aware of these issues and actively seek out privacy protective applications or choose to use privacy protective digital strategies, such as using Signal, an encrypted messaging application over the SMS messaging application that comes with your phone. Others argue that selling our personal data is worth it if we receive life improving technology in return, including Google or cool applications. Government surveillance goes against the freedom technology is meant to provide us. Freedom of speech is lost if one shares their opinions online only to be tracked by the government and punished for doing so. Big data government surveillance is an issue that effects everyone, but not everyone acts against it. Countries such as Saudia Arabia even go as far as punishing your family members and friends if they are not able to shut you down. It becomes a matter of whether you either sell your data and oblige to protect your family, or risk it all to live the life you want. It makes us wonder if internet is actually free if it’s being used to track us like this.

During the World War in the 1940s, the British used surveillance systems to spy on German officers which eventually helped them win the war. Authorities in the USA have been said to be aware of terrorist suspects even before the attacks took place through surveillance. Monitoring the mass instead of just the suspects leads to missed leads due to the lack of focus. It becomes difficult to handle the data when so much is being obtained. Law enforcements now depend on this data to track future threats even though it has proven difficult to analyse. Effective data analysis takes both time and effort.

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There are definitely both positives and negatives of big data government surveillance. If crime can be stopped before it happens, then that would be great. However, this has yet to become the case. Collecting these substantial amounts of data on people continues to prove harmful to both our privacy and safety. It makes you wonder, is it worth big data government surveillance and giving up your personal data, to have a chance of preventing threats before they happen? Is our data being collected only for the purpose of surveillance and protection? What happens if our data falls in the wrong hands? Following this path makes everyone a target.

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Review of the Article “The Threat of Big Data Surveillance” by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson. (2020, May 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
“Review of the Article “The Threat of Big Data Surveillance” by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson.” GradesFixer, 19 May 2020,
Review of the Article “The Threat of Big Data Surveillance” by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 May 2024].
Review of the Article “The Threat of Big Data Surveillance” by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 May 19 [cited 2024 May 21]. Available from:
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