The collection, analysis and use of consumer data is and will continue to both be valuable for suppliers and risky for consumers.

Data is exploding faster than most imagine and with explosive growth organizations, people and machines are learning more about human behavior and people’s intentions faster than ever before.

Eighty-five percent of Fortune 1000 executives have projects planned or underway for getting more business value out of data their companies generate and collect. The data they seek is mostly about their customers, you and me.

In 2010 The WSJ did a series of articles titled What They Know:  The Web’s New Gold Mine: Your Secrets. The Journal investigation found that one of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet is the business of spying on consumers by collecting and analyzing data from web sites.

Recently Inc Magazine reported about the risk of data breaches on mobile devices. Fewer than 29% of small business owners have actually installed anti-virus software on smartphones– even as 65% expressed concerns over information and data threats on wireless devices.

Last month the WSJ did an article titled Big Data Is on the Rise, Bringing Big Questions – WSJ.com which stated:  Evangelists claim it has the power to reveal hidden truths about our companies, about our lives, about society as a whole.

“The use of data and analytics in general is going to be a basis of competition going forward for individual firms, for sectors and even for countries. Those companies that are able to use data effectively are more likely to win in the marketplace.”

The Risk Of Big Data Is A Big Deal

The marketplace of commerce is all about using consumer data to get more out of the consumers wallet.

Doc Searls says it best: But wallets are about to become a Real Big Topic, in part because a lot of Real Big Companies like having their hands in our pockets — and in part because we really do need digital versions of the wallets we carry in the analog world.

So the risk of Big Data is from Big Brands with Big Plans to fill Big Data coffers with personal information about us, so they (not us) can analyze the routing between our wallets, our activities, intentions and behaviors and the rest of the marketplace. The BIG Risk is companies will know where we are, what we want, who we associate with, how much money we have and when we are most likely to buy what.  And worst of all they will know more about us than we do.  It ought to be the other way around.