A long-time chief data scientist at Amazon shows how open data can make everyone, not just corporations, richer.
Every time we Google something, Facebook someone, Uber somewhere, or even just turn on a light, we create data that businesses collect and use to make decisions about us. In many ways this has improved our lives, yet, we as individuals do not benefit from this wealth of data as much as we could. Moreover, whether it is a bank evaluating our credit worthiness, an insurance company determining our risk level, or a potential employer deciding whether we get a job, it is likely that this data will be used against us rather than for us.
In Data for the People, Andreas Weigend draws on his years as a consultant for commerce, education, healthcare, travel and finance companies to outline how Big Data can work better for all of us. As of today, how much we benefit from Big Data depends on how closely the interests of big companies align with our own. Too often, outdated standards of control and privacy force us into unfair contracts with data companies, but it doesn't have to be this way. Weigend makes a powerful argument that we need to take control of how our data is used to actually make it work for us. Only then can we the people get back more from Big Data than we give it.
Big Data is here to stay. Now is the time to find out how we can be empowered by it.
About the Author
Andreas Weigend is one of the world's foremost experts on the future of big data, social-mobile technologies, and consumer behavior. He teaches at Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, and Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in China. He is the founder and director of the Social Data Lab. He lives in San Francisco, California.
"[Weigend] makes a strong case for what we need-the right to amend or blur the data that pertains to us, the freedom to experiment with it and take it with us to other sites and services, and the ability to insist that data refineries be clear about how they're using our information." -Wall Street Journal "A hugely interesting read, packed to bursting with intriguing examples... The depth and breadth of Weigend's experience is clear in the sheer range of technologies and business models he describes. He explains critical concepts clearly and concisely, at a pace that should keep both experts and those new to the field hooked." -New Scientist "Weigend is a bold explorer of the technological future. His compelling book maps the opportunities of a world without secrets." -Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast and Slow "Data for the People asks us to think seriously about the data we generate in our online world, and how we are increasingly losing control over it. These products and services that generate data are not going away. And with advances in artificial intelligence enabling computers to do traditionally human tasks in a scalable manner, this data can and will continue to be utilized across the majority of decisions by institutions. Andreas acknowledges and embraces this future, and provides a framework and a call to action to ensure that in this world, as consumers, we can use and control our data in ways that are both transparent and beneficial to us." -Vinod Khosla, Partner at Khosla Venture "The author maintains the intellectual complexity of his subject while remaining accessible to readers searching for the truth about the salability of their privacy, the nuances of data sharing, and the ways to cloak their digital footprints. A cautionary, cohesively delivered update on the scope and science of human quantification." -Kirkus Reviews "Data-abundant, ubiquitous, personal-is restructuring our competing values of privacy, convenience, identity, and control. No one understands this better than Weigend, and with Data For the People, he helps the rest of us understand it as well." -Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody "Andreas Weigend is the preeminent thinker on the economic power of social data. Data for the People is a brilliant guide for how individuals, companies and policymakers can tap data's value while retaining our human values. Thought provoking-and action-inspiring!" -Kenneth Cukier, Senior Editor, The Economist and coauthor of Big Data "Data is the new oil-the key means of production in modern capitalism. Big data refineries such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and OKCupid influence where we work, what we buy, who we marry, and how we vote-in ways that very few people understand, much less control. This is an excellent book about the biggest ever challenge to human privacy and autonomy. Social data expert Andreas Weigend explains the incredibly detailed data we give to these companies, how it's used to nudge our decisions, and how we can take back control so our data empower us rather than exploiting us."-Geoffrey Miller, associate professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico "Finally a highly readable and heartfelt book about data by a leading technologist! Andreas Weigend writes with superb clarity about the most important issue of the early 20th century-the data economy and its threat to our privacy and individual rights. The narrative of his own personal journey from East Germany to becoming the Chief Scientist at Amazon.com is also compelling. Overall a major work by one of the world's leading authorities on data." -Andrew Keen, author of The Internet Is Not the Answer "This book is a landmark in the debate on privacy and data sharing. Everyone whose data is being captured and mined-in other words, everyone-should heed Weigend's call for data literacy and support his 'Data Bill of Rights.'" -Pedro Domingos, author of The Master Algorithm and professor of computer science at the University of Washington