If you are from an IT background, then you must be aware of this word, and it might sound like your most trending word. For a person with no IT background, this might be a word that he or she comes across while scrolling their news feed. Big data refers to the large, diverse sets of information that grow at ever-increasing rates. Today, with the reach of the internet and its good bandwidth, we all use the internet for our information-related work. We all use social media and remain highly active most of the time.

Big data is collected from publicly shared comments on social networks and websites, voluntarily gathered from various apps, through questionnaires, product purchases, and electronic check-ins.

It encompasses the volume of information, the velocity or speed at which it is created and collected, and the variety or scope of the data points being covered. It is used for various purposes, such as business intelligence, social media analysis, scientific research, health care, education and much more.

If we talk about its benefits, having more data on customers (and potential customers) allows companies to provide better services, products and marketing efforts.

But what scarier are its disadvantages. Nowadays, a topic that has become a hot topic in today’s online world is data protection, particularly data breaches. Not only this, but the data storage machines are being overloaded with unnecessarily large amounts of data. These heavy machines, known as data centers, not only occupy large spaces but also demand heavy maintenance.

To meet this large amount of computing power, storage, and network infrastructure, which consume a lot of electricity & water. Data centers, for example, are estimated to account for about 1% of global electricity use and 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

 Big data also generates a lot of electronic waste and carbon emissions, which can harm the environment and human health. For example, in 2019, about 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste were generated worldwide, and only 17.4% of it was recycled.

Causing social and ethical issues

Big data can also have negative impacts on society and human rights, such as targeting people, misusing personal information, discriminating against certain groups, breaching data security and privacy, manipulating political and social behavior, and causing data and system errors.