Sunday, January 16, 2005

No Place to Hide from Data Mining

Via David Nunez, a fine feature by American Radioworks, No Place to Hide, looks beyond cameras to new types of surveillance made possible by data mining techniques, some newly possible because of evolving technology, others honed through decades of consumer marketing. A sampling from one data privacy expert:
"our lives are being recorded. It is like ... these electronic diaries are being kept by all these other people. ... That's new territory; we haven't been there before."
There's plenty more, from 1968, when a whistleblower found "Army investigators filling file cabinets with dossiers on civil rights activists ... clipping newspaper stories about people giving anti-war speeches, even monitoring meetings at churches," to the controversial "Matrix" program (Texas declined to participate), to the Denver "spy files" case, to the CAPPS II program tracking everyday airline travelers, to how data mining is used to track actual terrorist extremists.

It's a detailed look at a seldom-examined subject. Here's the full transcript. See also Grits coverage on the frontiers of government surveillance using biometrics, gathered here.

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