Figuring Out Closed Data

   On the quest to figure out what closed data is one is left with limited amounts of information and wondering if there is a conspiracy to keep it all under wraps. Well not quite. The terms “open” and “closed” data are relatively new as the Internet revolution continues to soar. Scientists however have been using the term open data for sometime now often focused on non-textual material such as maps, genomes, connectomes, chemical compounds, mathematical and scientific formulae, medical data and practice, bioscience and biodiversity. 

   Open data itself works under the premise that data is and should be open to all that want to use, edit, and republish free of copyright and other restrictions. Aaandd closed data is the opposite.

   Well more importantly who has closed data and what is it? Take for example companies such as Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc. Two pretty major companies in the financial world who probably holds people’s darkest secrets in the form of buying habits. Both companies have and continue to acquire closed data. Data that is not free to the public or anyone to use, edit, or republish- such as your buying habits and medical records. Can you imagine if Visa or MasterCard decides to take your purchasing information and sell it to ad companies and other interested parties who can profit and benefit from your poor helpless information? Wait what??

  Yes you read correctly. Well to MasterCard’s behalf a representative spoke up when addressed by Senator Rockefeller of VA. And get this they say: “that MasterCard does not receive cardholders’ names and contact information with transactions. He also said that the company does not “link our anonymous information to individuals.” Well then what are you doing MasterCard? What value is purchasing information to an advertiser if the advertiser has no idea who’s buying what. That leaves advertisers with what they have now- a shot in the dark. Sounds like the run around to me. Also to MasterCard’s benefit a rep says MasterCard has since put those ideas to sell information aside because of the sensitivity of purchaser information.

Let’s see what they are doing when we are not looking.


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