The issue runs deeper than that. A website user today provides the website’s operators with rich data about his browsing habits, things that he is interested in, stuff he ignores, and information about what he is doing. (That was how the American government were able to set up a fake bank and launder money for criminals and get intimate information about criminal activity.)
When data is collected on a large scale, millions of users can be analyzed in the aggregate and useful information can be derived. Insights and trends not ordinarily available to market researchers can be obtained through statistical analysis. Those with the tools get a first look at what is going on in the world. Sight beyond sight. Foretelling the future becomes a possibility. Innovation becomes possible and profitable because of the leads that the big data is generating.
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