Big Data's Other Privacy Problem

in Big Data, Big Challenges in Evidence-Based Policy Making (Kumar Jayasuriya & Kathryn Ritcheske eds., West Academic 2015)

U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-7

12 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2013 Last revised: 10 Oct 2015

James Grimmelmann

Cornell Law School; Cornell Tech

Date Written: November 21, 2013

Abstract

Big Data has not one privacy problem, but two. We are accustomed to talking about surveillance of data subjects. But Big Data also enables disconcertingly close surveillance of its users. The questions we ask of Big Data can be intensely revealing, but, paradoxically, protecting subjects' privacy can require spying on users. Big Data is an ideology of technology, used to justify the centralization of information and power in data barons, pushing both subjects and users into a kind of feudal subordination. This short and polemical essay uses the Bloomberg Terminal scandal as a window to illuminate Big Data's other privacy problem.

Keywords: privacy, Big Data, Bloomberg Terminal

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Grimmelmann, James, Big Data's Other Privacy Problem (November 21, 2013). in Big Data, Big Challenges in Evidence-Based Policy Making (Kumar Jayasuriya & Kathryn Ritcheske eds., West Academic 2015); U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-7. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2358079

James Grimmelmann (Contact Author)

Cornell Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Cornell Tech ( email )

111 8th Avenue #302
New York, NY 10011
United States

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