The big data divide

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231 Citations (Scopus)


This article extends the notion of a "big data divide" to describe the asymmetric relationship between those who collect, store, and mine large quantities of data, and those whom data collection targets. It argues that this key distinction highlights differential access to ways of thinking about and using data that potentially exacerbate power imbalances in the digital era. Drawing on original survey and interview findings about public attitudes toward collection and use of personal information, it maintains that the inability to anticipate the potential uses of such data is a defining attribute of data-mining processes, and thus of the forms of sorting and targeting that result from them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1673–1689
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Big data
  • Data mining
  • Digital divide
  • Predictive analytics
  • Privacy

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