90% of the world’s data has been generated in the last two years, and it does have some positive effects. Data can be used to help better the world by analyzing massive amounts of healthcare information and use it to figure out patterns in medicine that no one could have dreamed of twenty of thirty years ago. Data can also be used in the business world. It can help predict what consumers are going to want before they want it, and personally tailor advertisements to show only what he or she would be specifically interested in, therefore saving time and money.
However, having this much access to personal data can have seriously negative effects on society as well. In many cases, data you give freely to one company, such as certain demographics like gender or age, can be sold to other third party companies without your permission or knowledge. As soon as you open your browser and go to a website, you’re being tracked by that site. Certain websites like Facebook have access to impossibly huge amounts of data. They track you even when you’re not on Facebook, and even if you don’t have a Facebook account. For example, if you visit a site that has a Facebook like button, even if you aren’t logged into your Facebook account or even if you don’t have an account, Facebook has tracked your information on your web browser. Social media sites like Facebook also track what you like and what you post on Facebook and once they have enough information, they begin to tailor your account so that you only view things you want to see. For instance, if you’re a democrat you may only see positive videos about the Democratic Party on your newsfeed. By tailoring your newsfeed, Facebook may keep you from seeing both sides of the election and enhance and isolate your opinions even further. Due to a lack of government regulation, things like Adblockers have started to appear in an effort to get back some privacy on the Internet; however, any serious change on website and information tracking will have to come from federal regulations.