Big Data could lead to the greatest advances society has seen in generations. Or, it could take us down a path of poor decisions and increased discrimination. Eating curly fries (unfortunately!) wont make us smart enough to guide the right decisions, but collaboration between technologists, policymakers, and businesses could.
Effective transparency is not a one-way mirror that reduces individuals to being spectators on how their data is used. Instead, meaningful transparency requires both inbound and outbound information flows. It requires institutions (commercial and governmental) to listen and act upon the wants and needs of individuals.
Most of us simply find it too tiring, too complex, to pay much attention to all the privacy settings out there. How many of us, for example, actually change the password settings when we are supposed to? We assume, naively, that there must be some kind of law out there that keeps corporations from going too far with all that data they are collecting on us.