If you are on the internet then you have nowhere to hide.
Your personal information is being used on a daily basis — and not by who you think.
The big new players in the personalisation of digital media are businesses.
It’s a warning Griffith Head of School of Information and Communication Technology Professor Michael Blumenstein shared when he joined an elite panel of digital media experts at an event hosted by Business South Bank’s Hub4101.
The shift towards digital media collecting and using information sourced from individual devices has well and truly entered the business sector.
Known as data mining, Professor Blumenstein said companies were collecting your data and putting it to use in the marketing landscape, meaning your full life’s behavior can now be tracked through different search engines and digitally stored.
The data mining phenomenon is becoming such a contentious topic that he joined a panel comprising of ABC Managing Director Mark Scott, Cutting Edge CEO Michael Burton, City of Brisbane Chief Digital Officer Cat Matson and Public is Worldwide Australia Managing Director Rob Kent to speak about the issue. It was moderated by ABC News Qld Presenter Karina Carvalho.
Professor Blumenstein said he wanted to educate the audience on what was happening in the digital world now and in years to come.
“Every time you do anything online – use google as a search, look at a website, buy your groceries – it is collecting your data and it’s is done in a way that you don’t even know.
“Theoretically it is collecting information on everything you do, where you are and your personal preferences. Your full life’s behavior can be tracked through different search engines and digitally stored.”
Professor Blumenstein said the scary part was if all this information was triangulated.
“Imagine if we bring all this information together with artificial intelligence and you have a mass of information about people right down to the individual if you want,” he said.
“This is a new era of big data analytics that is migrating to business analytics and businesses are now making big decisions based this actual collated data.
“Gone are the days of focus groups of 10 people when businesses can now capture thousands to millions of your stored information.
Professor Blumenstein said his message was similar to that of the responsible drinking campaigns — “responsible social media”.
He advises to always remember that whatever you are doing online, it can be tracked — even what you just ‘Googled’.