How many people can still boast that they have left no trace of their personal data on the web? This is due to online purchases, fingerprints recorded on smartphones, and many others. The amount of banking, medical or even biometric information is multiplying at every moment all over the world. To gather it all together, there is one solution: Big Data.
The explosion of digital and quantitative data has forced researchers to find new orders of magnitude. On the agenda, research, sharing, storage but also analysis of data. From there, Big Data was born. But once again, concerns about the protection of personal data were felt… To remedy this, Blockchain and biometrics have taken the lead in recent years and are leading a number of players to take a closer look.
What is Big Data?
Literally, “Big Data” means “massive data” or “megadata”. Popularized in 2012, this notion reflects the idea that companies are confronted with ever larger volumes of data that need to be analyzed ever more quickly. So much so that a classic database management tool would not be able to process them properly. Big Data, on the other hand, is made up of a family of tools that respond to a triple challenge: the 3Vs (Volume of data, Variety of information and Speed to achieve), according to Gartner. More precisely, it can be broken down into two families: storage technologies and adjusted processing technologies. The first are, in particular, driven by the deployment of Cloud Computing, while the others concern the development of new databases. The challenge of Big Data is all the greater because the development of connected objects tends to increase the amount of data it contains. This information comes from different sources such as messages or videos posted on social networks, online transactional records (product purchases…) or even geolocation signals. Data from Big Data can be private (banking or medical data, for example). This raises the issue of security.
Blockchain: a secure system without intermediaries
Faced with this problem of securing private data, the Blockchain, which favors protection over anonymity, could well replace Big Data. While integrity checks or data encryption secures this valuable information, there is a growing need to strengthen security through a collaborative approach. That’s where Blockchain comes in, a “technology for storing and transmitting information, transparent, secure, and operating without a central control body,” according to the Blockchain France website. Developed by an unknown man using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, this database contains the history of all the exchanges of its users. Drawing its origin from Big Data, it differs from the latter by a fundamental point: without intermediary, it is shared only by its users. This makes it a secure medium. Note that there are so-called public blockchains, which can be consulted by everyone, and private blockchains, which are only accessible by a certain number of people.
Bitcoin, one of the newest members of Big Data
It would be difficult to talk about Big Data and Blockchain without discussing virtual currency, particularly Bitcoin. Conceived in 2009, Bitcoin is characterized as a type of virtual currency. More specifically, this payment system is nothing other than a form of crypto-currency. In other words, it can be used on a decentralized, peer-to-peer computer network (similar to the client-server computer network model, but where each client is also a server). Bitcoin is traded on online platforms from person to person against other monetary currencies such as the euro or the dollar. Over the course of 2017, its value has increased fifteenfold. For cause, a very high volatility (its value is not regulated by a central bank), which refers to the risk of speculative bubble. So investors, be careful. And still caution in 2021
Bitcoin loses more than 13% on Sunday, still penalized by Chinese regulators’ turns against the most iconic cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is giving up 13.27 percent to $32,622.59 at 19:00 GMT. It has fallen nearly 50% since its April 14 high of $64,895.22.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk had already triggered a sharp downward movement last week by denouncing the “insane” energy consumption of bitcoin production and by saying he would no longer accept it as a means of payment for his group’s electric cars.
Often presented by its supporters as a diversification asset offering protection against inflation, bitcoin is denounced by its opponents for its extreme volatility and speculative nature.
In its wake, its main competitor, the ether, lost Sunday 17.35% to $ 1,897.81.
Biometrics as a means of authentication
Apart from the Blockchain, other security systems, resulting from Big Data, have emerged. This is the case of biometrics. At the time of the iPhone X, who has never unlocked a smartphone with his thumb or index finger? These fingerprint recognition techniques, now competing with facial recognition, are made possible by biometrics. To go into detail, there are two types of biometric indicators: morphological characteristics with fingerprints or facial recognition, and behavioral characteristics such as gestures or voice recognition. In all cases, these biometric techniques make it possible to identify a person. In this sense, they constitute personal data. This quantitative study of living beings is then mainly used for identification and access control purposes. But isn’t it, in the end, a paradox to disclose biometric data to secure other personal data? In the meantime, more and more companies are resorting to the use of biometrics, for their own protection as well as to sell specific products to consumers, as the giant Apple does.