Big data has become a worldwide trend nowadays, which is related to the data tracking technology and internet engineering. On the one side, some people hold the view that data tracking benefits to the development of the businesses. However, the others express concern about their private secret and the relative drawbacks of data tracking. This paper would talk about the engineer’s responsibility and ethical problems of the development of data tracking technology in two sides.
Data Tracking, the Activator of Development
With the rapid development of the big data conception, data tracking is considered as the basic management technology of internet engineering. It provides information for both the administrative departments and the enterprises, such as the growth of GDP or the new market tendency. Although some moral side effects of data tracking have been exposed to public, for example the information safety, this technology does contribute to the social progress.
Data tracking can be divided into two parts in terms of the individual privacy. Projects such as the natural disasters prediction, which not only benefits the human, but also has no privacy invasion, should be supported confirmedly. For instance, the seismology bureau may predict the level and aftershocks of an earthquake by collecting wave length and then tracking it in the database. Meanwhile, similar method can be applied to the weather prediction especially the El Nino phenomenon. Data tracking provides the advanced time for dealing with these disasters.
Another project that has nothing thing to do with the privacy is the business questionnaire or market survey. Data tracking here means collecting data of the customers with their permissions or the collecting process is based on the general environment instead of the individuals. It would help the business companies understand the customers’ demands, company financial information as well as the products selling situation. By creating a data model for prediction, enterprises can adjust their products structure for the considerable profits. Marketing feedbacks and customers’ options are nonnegligible especially to the big companies like Apple and IBM.
The black and white (do or not do) strategy is not suitable for the projects related to the individual privacy. Cooperation is usually required for these circumstances, which means finding an alternative way to solve the problem.
To prevent the phenomenon of privacy leaking, the government should perform a role of the agent. Some important individual information such as the identity information and biological characteristics (fingerprints) need to be protected by the governmental departments. Other organizations have no access to such information unless they achieve the licenses from the government. For example, if a private clinic wants the physical conditions of the patients for official medical institutions, the written agreement is necessary. Also, instead of the government, all data tracking companies should be responsible for the safety of customers’ information, like the online map company or the smart watch company.
From the intuition and common sense, the data tracking technology expands the financial interests of enterprises and facilitates people’s lives greatly. Meanwhile, it reduces the risk of unknown disasters. Further, if all the data tracking process are carried out refer to the relative laws and regulations, it can be recognized formally. In consequence, the advance of this technology is promising and moral.
Data Tracking, an Immature Technology
In addition to the above-mentioned benefits, data tracking still has some drawbacks which limit its application on both individuals and the society. The information safety and the data accuracy are unsatisfactory at the moment. Therefore, it may suffer the troubles from the laws and moral code if these disadvantages are neglected.
Considering the hazards of data tracking, the shortcomings should be avoided. Firstly, the invasion of personal privacy has the priority with respect to human morality perspective. Some searching engines can record the searching results which leaves personal information completely naked. As a result, large quantity of the junk information about what you are interested in will pile up, even some illegal acts like fraud are caused. The public does not provide their privacy voluntarily, which also largely violates human rights and ethics. Meanwhile, the data updating speed is beyond imagination, which means it is a considerable challenge for timely tracking and processing data. The heavy work of data processing extends the working time of engineers, which will be physically and mentally harmful.
Secondly, it has the problem of converting mass data into effective information from a huge database. The existing technique is not mature enough so governments have to increase investments to personnel and technology which increase economic burdens of the country. Moreover, a large number of internet users can generate massive data at a time, so the maximizing of online effect will lead to the superposition of various social contradictions. The national economy relies on big data, but once the national database is damaged, massive of confidential disclosures will seriously affect country’s security interests.
In terms of the efficiency of information transfer, data tracking based on the technical premise of big data which means more information sources need to be processed. Data mining in the era of big data is like ‘finding a needle in a pile of straw’. The biggest problem is how to find this needle when being confront with a situation that many straws look like needles. Meanwhile, with the increasing awareness of network security, 24% of PC users have installed blocking software on computers according to the study by IAB (Internet Architecture Board). This action brings difficulties to the operation of the data tracking technology and certainly reduce the efficiency of information transformation.
The privacy problem of data tracking has not been solved satisfactorily. It is undeniable that, data tracking provides the chances for criminals to steal important information. Also, it increases the burden of both the countries and engineers from the financial and social perspective. Therefore, when the technology is evaluated from both intuition and conduct codes, it is crude and immature, a strict supervision system must be applied to monitor the technology.