The future transparency of the past--we live in glass houses

The future transparency of the past--we live in glass houses

Summary: Google saves every piece of data it comes across, and so do many other companies. The future could reveal our present lives in incredible detail.

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TOPICS: Big Data
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Like it or not, there is already a heck of a lot of personal data on you and me, on our online habits, already available through the commercial sector. Are government agencies using subpoenas to get internet analytics data for free?

Because if the government, or any government, wants to be a Big Brother, Will we have Big Brother? Yes, because we can. they would outsource it and buy it in from the commercial sector. You would not believe how many companies out there already slice and dice and serve up that kind of data to anybody with a credit card.

They track internet usage, and bloggers, and what the bloggers write, and who they associate with, etc. It is companies with well known names, such as Technorati, that will sell that information to anyone.

And companies such as Google will comply with all reasonable legal requests for information, as they have done so in the past.

Did you know that Google keeps a copy of every piece of data it ever comes across? That includes every web page (without images), search terms, and usage data such as time of day, IP address, etc. Google's head of engineering told me more than two years ago that all the data gets saved onto onto tapes and is shipped to a storage facility.

What will you do with that data I asked? We don't know was the answer.

I'm sure that Google's data is not personal to a user, but, if you could combine it with other data, such as from third-party cookies, or other databases, it can get personal very easily. You'll be able to triangulate an identifiable user.

Now combine that ever growing store of data at Google, with the masses of location data from cell phone companies, and credit card companies, and health data, etc. And also all the data that corporations are required to save because of Sarbanes-Oxely.

It would be a big mashup of data, but if you had access to it all--it would reveal a person's life in tremendous detail. You would almost be able to follow the daily track of a person through every minute of their day, as they gassed their car, called their spouse, associated with a person that later was put into prison, called a person later revealed to be their lover, what they wrote that day in corporate emails, what they wrote on blogs and with who they linked.

Okay, it would be a massive data mining project--but. . . we will have such capabilities.

Would someone be able to gain access to all the many myriad databases that could map a person's life in such detail?

Maybe. . . maybe sometime in the future someone could piece it all together. The data will certainly be there...sitting around in various places.

Will we have Big Brother? Yes, because we can. Because once we digitize something, we can process it, and we can store it--very easily. We can monitor the inventory in coke machines, and we will monitor everything else soon too.

And if we can track people, we will, because we can. If reasonable technologies exist to prevent crime, terrorism, or any other illegal acts, then we would be negligent in not employing those technologies. That will be the logic of the lawyers and legislators.

Welcome to the future transparency of your present moments.

Topic: Big Data

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14 comments
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  • While the Left and ACLU Blew Smoke

    The left and ACLU rag on about the govenment and the real threat has been in the private sector like most of us have know for 20 years. But the pure hate of the left and the ACLU for those who will not except their views have blinded them to the truth. The deep deep hate of President Bush by the left and their kind have block and masked the damage the infomation brokers have done to our individual anonymity.
    RobertoSalazar
    • Right Wingers

      These information brokers you speak of, do you suppose they are members of the ACLU or from the left or Right Wingers just like you and others like you who love all forms of Government snooping into private lives but, of course, allowing business to do as they damn well please?
      duclod
      • Millions Have Died From The Left

        For Starters

        The Chi Comms
        Stalin
        Pol Pot
        Cuba

        have killed millions who would no believe as they were told to. That is the left that is what they are. Take of leave you side is full of death. Think about how you hate those who will not belive as you would like. Look inside you self and see the disease you have and the hate you have. You are a liar.
        RobertoSalazar
        • 3.5 lies per week

          I only tell three and a half lies per week.
          duclod
        • Oh, so liberals are comparable to only those types?

          Just how jaded and biased are you?

          And your personal attacks on him speak more against you than anybody else.

          Not that you're wrong re: Pol Pot, Cuba, China, et al... China? Oh yeah, the folks the US has been in bed with. The same China that is as much our friend as Saudi Arabia...
          HypnoToad
        • Millions have died from the left???

          Ever heard of Hitler? Mussolini? Franco? Liar is a bit strong too.
          c-o-b
  • It's not about the Right or Left

    Private/public companies already have masses of technologies for "Big Brother" within their organizations. Government can buy all sorts of data from the private sector to monitor individuals, or broader trends. How that information will be used is neither a Right or Left thing.

    (There is no discourse or debate between the Left and Right in the US--neither side listens or wants to listen to the other.)

    Big Brother type scenarios are scary because as a society, Left or Right, we want control. And we want control for all the right reasons--to make life better for all. But we know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and that's the very scary part of all of this. . .
    foremski
    • You are of course right

      It's about invasion of privacy and the failure of the Government to properly regulate the business that collect private data and the business that give out private information to these companies.
      duclod
      • Define private data

        When you do something on the internet it is essentially the same as doing something in public.

        If the anybody, government or private, wanted to following someone around all day, they could do it, so long as that person remained in public places.

        Why is online any different?

        Because the cost of physically following someone is high, while the cost of digitally tracking someone is low?

        Or because people on the internet assume that they are anonymous and untrackable, and therefore do things that they would never do in public?

        We're not talking about making private information public here, we're talking about making public information that people thought was inaccessible so accessible that it can be used to conclude embarassing things.
        Erik1234
    • Bingo. Both sides are equally brainwashed.

      But the road to hell is paved with the brainwashed.
      HypnoToad
  • Great

    isn't it wonderful!

    i _like_ the idea of complete transparency, although i'm sure there will always be those who try to avoid it.

    This is a reflection of the Akashic records after all... the past transparency of the future (etc)
    flowin
  • How many believe it's about terrorism? Or is it about sheep-management?(NT)

    (NT)
    Vily Clay
    • Spot On!

      Give away the Rights that Heros died to buy for you and you will
      find that the only way to buy them back is with more blood. And
      you will have done Treason to both the past and the future!
      s_gamgee
      • Want to make pharmaceutical co. richer ? send letters with US Anthrax, etc.

        If they will ask their friend - Osama to talk more ? all sheep surely will demand more ?safety? like living in a concentration camp under 24/7 surveillance (bathrooms included), zero freedom, etc.

        Plus they willingly will pay $300/gallon because they believe it guarantees their safety.

        Of course, for this money Osama surely won?t talk for a while.

        P.S. They hire professionals, not Osama?s friends, to do things like 9/11; Osama get paid to take all the responsibilities for the things he did not do.
        Vily Clay