What is data mining?
Companies collect digital information about people from a variety of sources. This personal information includes name, age, gender, location, contact information (as well as the information of a user’s contacts if they have been imported), information about the device and mobile carrier, websites visited, searches made, and interactions with things like apps, browsers, and ads. All this information is incredibly valuable to tech companies. They use this data to create profiles of individuals or targeted groups of people to benefit their business. Companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, TikTok, and Reddit offer free services to users but the profits they make from selling user information account for a large portion of their revenue.
How does data mining work?
1. Companies or organizations collect massive amounts of digital information about people from a variety of public and private sources.
2. The collection is stored on in-house servers or in the cloud.
3. Specialists analyze the data and they use it to try to create profiles of individuals or targeted groups of people to benefit the client’s business.
4. Data mining software sorts and digs through all this information to discover patterns and relationships.
5. Data is presented in a useful format and the results can be used to make predictions about the future. This allows businesses to anticipate coming trends and behaviors. Mining large collections of data can give big companies insight into where you shop, your health and your personal buying habits. Because you bought something in the past, data mining predicts what you might be willing to buy in the future. For example, the individual who buys a lot of birdseed online may start seeing ads for bird watching supplies show up in his/her social media feed or while visiting a website.
The wealth of data mining
Pretty much everyone leaves a large enough data footprint worth mining. It is estimated that there are over 5,200 gigabytes of information on every person on the planet. How much is that? A lot, considering that just one gigabyte can contain 1,000 short novels!
The Data Mining Trade-off
Data mining works partly because an individual agrees to give up some of their privacy. It’s often a trade-off. For example, you may be willing to give up a bit of privacy in exchange for the convenience of using a debit or credit card. But then, every time you swipe that card, the bank and sometimes the retailer collects a little more information on your behavior. All this information helps businesses target you as a potential customer. And it may also make your personal information a target for unethical businesses or cybercriminals. There is always the risk that mined data can be misused or even stolen.
How does this relate to video conferencing?
As we all adjust to living and working remotely, web or video conferencing services have become a must-have part of our lives to stay connected personally and professionally. Millions have signed up for cheap or free video conferencing services. As we increasingly use this platform to keep in touch while working from home, it is important to ensure that this is done securely without introducing unnecessary privacy, security and legal risks.
ARC suggests that you take a moment to think about the platform that you’re using, and the data that you’re sharing. With ARC there is no need to trade privacy for convenience. You get the best of both worlds. No longer do you need to be unsure about the safety of your personal data. On ARC your personal data is safe and not shared with third parties for retargeting marketing. Your online meetings on ARC will not be data mined, there will be no surveillance, nor will there be any privacy breach. Join the movement today and enjoy private conversations at your convenience.