As shown in the recent Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour, people were up in arms about the NSA tapping people’s phone calls under the pretense of protecting the freedom of American citizens. Whistleblower Edward Snowden’s primary mission was to point out that personal information was unethically being handed over to the government without the permission of millions of U.S. citizens.
But what about when you do give permission?
The debate on whether data is good or evil is still ongoing. Companies are sometimes referred to as unethical if they collect and use first-party data to (mostly) better understand their users and ultimately provide a more customized experience. The truth of the matter is that data in itself isn’t good or evil. Data is simply neutral information, but it has the potential to be used for good or evil depending on who has access and how they use it.
Here are a few things that companies and users should be doing before the data transaction begins:
Understand Exactly What Information Companies Are Collecting
Get a Clear Understanding of What Your Data Will Be Used For
All that being said, I Accept.