prior researchers have indicated that big data has broad range and
scale of ethical issues, little is known about the exact nature of
these issues. The socio-ethical issues are in particular relevant due
to the underdeveloped regulations and regulatory infrastructure,
which may and will give a boost to consumer exploitation by
businesses. Whereas a firm knows a great deal about the consumer’s
preferences, taste, economic potential and their distribution across
the society, most consumers primarily lack awareness about the
various aspects of the firm offerings. This imbalance puts customers
in a rather impaired position.
paper seeks to shed how along with the collection and storage of big
data, many firms across the globe employ dark, latent practices to
use and manipulate consumers’ information to their advantage. While
privacy, security and consumer welfare concerns can be linked to
collection, storing, sharing, analysis, processing and reuse of data,
the paper interprets the association between big data characteristics
and privacy, security and consumer welfare from the viewpoint of data
collection, storing, sharing & accessibility and their resultant
use in employing dark practices to manipulate the data so collected.
In addition, since a major concern has been with data sharing and
accessibility and its resultant misuse, this paper’s analysis also
highlights how dark patterns can be identified and linked with the
big data and its privacy–related issues.
article contributes to the literature notably in two ways. First, it
presents and identifies new insights into how different practices of
dark patterns are applied to the collection of big data in relation
to its correlation with privacy, security and consumer welfare
issues. Basically, due to the recentness of this phenomenon, the
assertion of the connection between dark patterns and big data has
not been well documented in the literature. A second contribution
shows how privacy, security and welfare of consumers is at risk with
the current data protection laws in place and how these issues are
linked with the way the big data is handled by the big firms.
paper is structured as follows. It is set in motion with the basic
description of data collection and storage mechanisms employed by the
organizations followed by the statistical data from a survey
regarding the consumer’s awareness about their security and privacy
concerns. Then different types of dark patterns are discussed along
with their relation to the big data and consumer privacy. It is
followed by a section on discussion and conclusion. The final section
provides concluding comments.