Ford’s Utilization of Big Data Functionality

The nature of Ford’s expansion into the realm of big data is a very modern move for the company. While the enormous sums of data that are available for analysis in the market of American automotives are staggering, they are potentially a boon for anyone capable of making use of the information at hand.

Personally, what I find most interesting regarding this informatical expansion is the possible infringement on personal privacy for the sake of statistical analysis. The way onboard computers can record data not only of the more typical variety that a person thinks of when they consider what goes on when driving (fuel efficiency, distance traveled over time, average speeds, etc.) the vehicle that a person bought and uses for personal reasons could transmit personal information, such as particular routes taken, times that one travels and even the extrapolation of work schedules.

As I assume that the imperative for a corporation such as Ford is profit, I can understand their desire to make sense of any datum that can provide them with an edge on their competitors, especially since they are losing ground against other automotive corporations that are outstripping them in the technological area. As someone whose family has a vested financial interest in domestic automotives, I would say that I support Ford in their endeavors, but as an individual, I worry about the collection of information. It is possible that Ford could sell the information collected once they are done with it, which seems to be an increasingly popular course of action.

Big data seems to change the act of marketing from an art to a statistically modeled science. Personally, I worry that any project that collects massive amounts of information could be used in ways other than product improvement, but to affect the marketing campaign and even to affect costs of products, pricing them at exactly what a given demographic is willing to pay.