We all know that Google and Amazon and Facebook know everything about us, right? This bothers some people — it bothers me, for example — and not others. But what bothers the Chronicle of Higher Education is that the lords of Big Data aren’t sharing it with… academics:
[W]hat should be an opportunity for social science is now threatened by a three-headed monster of privatization, amateurization, and Balkanization. A coordinated public effort is needed to overcome all of these obstacles….
While many folks are legitimately concerned about privacy in an era of Internet giants, we think that these private firms and public-sector agencies should be made to share their data more—not less—but with the National Science Foundation, not the National Security Agency….
Rather than just apply to Yahoo to work with its data in a silo, researchers would be able to link such proprietary data to other, diverse sources of information including those of other firms and government agencies, or even to newly collected information.
Gotta admire the chutzpah.