Culture / Tech

Capital One, Netflix, and A Potential Epidemic

Person using an iphone


Every week, the news lets us know just how important data is. These headlines are filled with scandal and emotion which is an appropriate response to the events, but there’s something in particular that we all need to focus on. Both the public and businesses need to know how to handle data, or end up with a disaster. And that means considering everything from our own habits and privacy as consumers to enterprise level data analytics and performance.

Catching a hacker

There’s something more to the Capital One data breach that people are overlooking. Yes, the personal data of millions of people has been breached (what’s new), but the hacker accused has an interesting point. Personal life and work aside, she had pointed out vulnerabilities in the firewall to Capital One but was understandably not taken seriously as she isn’t an employee or affiliated with the company at all. However, she was right and lifted all our personal data to prove a point. Ethics and character aside, 

If corporations took better security measures, there would be no scandal or settlement to pay and we wouldn’t have to be under the constant threat of having our identities stolen. Don’t expect to get the full $125 from Equifax either since the settlement reserve can’t pay everyone who’s requested it. It could be avoided altogether if business were more careful about managing our personal data.

A looming epidemic

The opioid epidemic isn’t exactly new, but it’s a frightening example of how ignoring data can cost lives. Now, we have another potential epidemic creeping up to ignite a nationwide threat. You might think it doesn’t bother you if you’re not a user, but unpredictable events and consequences have a way of rippling out and affecting you in unknown ways. So what’s the problem? Cocaine use is up 47% since 2011 and cocaine and methamphetamine overdoses have almost tripled in the past 5 years. Thanks to the rise of toxic synthetic cutting agents and no data, experts don’t know what kind of health problems will affect people. It’s hypothesized that there have already been related deaths that went unnoticed because they don’t have the data

I don’t use drugs, it doesn’t matter to me. Except it does. Synthetic agents in drugs have made headlines with flesh-eating viruses, collapsing immune systems, and organ failure. The coca crop is booming, giving more power to cartels and more product in people’s hands.

So, we need more forensic data, but we know just having the data isn’t enough if the public, governments, and medical professionals don’t do anything. After all, if these deaths aren’t alarming, who’s to say our lives aren’t either.

Netflix wants more data?

Any digital platform has a whole lot of data about us. Netflix is one of the biggest tech giants in the industry with a data treasure trove to match. Recently, Netflix has been asking app users for physical activity data access (thanks to a new Android feature that detects motion). That’s more data collection you probably didn’t think about. But why? Don’t they have enough? Netflix asserts it’s all for the sake of video playback and collecting data will improve playback. Better playback means more spaces viewers can watch, more viewing hours, and maybe even more subscriptions. While we don’t know exactly how Netflix treats the data, we know it works. 

So, the question is, what are you doing with your data? Drop us a message and let us help.

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