Thursday, 2 April 2015

MetaData

Apparently, everyone is up in arms about a new law in Australia being passed which will allow Telcom companies within Australia access to tracking-type information produced by mobile devices and internet usages for personal users.

MetaData is typically known to give up information, such a specific location, particular views, searches, phone calls, text messages and more. The reason why everyone is so up in arms about it is because people want to keep their private life, private. Australians wonder why their government needs to read their text messages in order to provide safety? Additionally, they wonder why they have to pay taxes to the government which will possibly fund the Telcom companies to produce and monitor this data.

The following video explains, in a very funny, yet serious, way, how this very small matter has been made very big, and exactly how it could impact you:

http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/the-project/extra/season-6/metadata



At first, I was listening along, and getting into it. I was feeling kind of angry. Why do they need to know who I call and potentially read my messages in order to keep me safe while temporarily residing in Australia? It was a valid question, until the news cast continued to explain the similar, if not more aggressive, pathways the USA has already implemented for a very long time to elicit the same data from people residing on its soil. Basically, we’re left between a rock and a hard place: Its understandable purely to help keep us safe and pin point people who are not using certain technological resources with ethical/moral intent. But on the other hand, if the Telcom companies are responsible for it, they could simply sell out our information to the highest bidder.

Enter marketing firms, advertising agencies and big businesses who want new moves. This is the exciting stuff. Personally, I even love data mining. It’s way better than reading a story. It’s like reading a story about a bunch of people who are completely real and who can lead you to an incredible amount of new ideas to help make you and your company a whole lot of money! As hypocritical as that all sounds, marketers aren’t the bad guys here. Marketers will simply just want to use the data, should it exist, but also have other means of capturing relevant information about their consumers for the time being.

So what do you think? Should metadata be for sale? Should it be collected in general? And, where do you draw the line between private information and relinquished rights under terms of usage? If you don’t do anything questionable, don’t trigger any red flags, then what do you have to hide anyways? Honestly, there are probably bigger things to worry about then some company checking your search history to identify child pornographers or terrorists who pose potential threat to the greater community.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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