Hat tip to Joshua Taylor on his Facebook page for pointing out this article on the big data question. The article concludes:
Finally, should we worry about our security and privacy. There are big issues here concerning the ethics of big data gathering and mining. These are issues not just about the ownership and control of data, the gathering of swathes of information about its citizens by governments, and the right to be forgotten and have information thrown away, but also the morality of companies and policy makers taking decisions that will affect millions on the basis of generalization made about those on the web and with smart phones who generate all the data. We need humanities scholars like Professor Peter Ludlow at Northwestern University, with advanced knowledge of the technologies, to keep a way eye on dark data. There’s a lot of work here to be done and we’re just beginning. In the Humanities we’ll need to know about these developments and we need to be ready to respond.
The sooner teh genealogy community starts to think of genealogy as a "big data" question and considering those implications the way Google, Facebook, credit reporting agencies, etc., do, the better.