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View Diary: How metadata brought down CIA boss David Petraeus (61 comments)

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  •  Your smartphone is a tracking device (13+ / 0-)

    iPhones, Android devices, etc.   Actually, the typical smartphone is many tracking devices, since the user will often have multiple apps on the phone that each access GPS data and send it to some company (Google Maps, Yelp, etc.).  

    This is not a secret or a conspiracy - when you click "Agree" on those license agreements that pop up that no one reads, you'll see it right there in black and white.

    Even if you leave your phone at home, there's a proliferation of automatic license plate readers that will eventually track everywhere you drive, whether or not you're suspected of wrongdoing.  And the rollout of facial recognition to track everywhere you walk, shop or rest is just around the corner.  And of course we now have drones being rolled out to civilian police departments for routine surveillance.

    Storing information has become dirt cheap.  The average Joe can buy 3 terabytes retail for $150.  If you're talking about storing written text (e.g., a written record of the locations a person has been to, and the times and dates of each visit), at an average of 5,000 characters per single-spaced page, this 3 terabytes will store about 600 million pages of information.

    So yes, metadata can compromise privacy - but to me that's kind of an obsolete concern that people had about 10 years ago, when everyone was getting familiar with how email and electronic documents worked.  We're rapidly moving to an environment where the movements and habits of every person will be tracked and permanently recorded.  Some day you'll probably be able to call it all up on line to bring back memories - sort of a digital "This is Your Life."

    •  I can see this being monetized eventually (4+ / 0-)

      With, hopefully, adequate legal safeguards put in place to protect peoples' privacy and safety. In fact, most of the money will probably come from people paying to having their privacy protected, with software smudging peoples' faces in video recordings of one's afternoon at Starbucks 3 years ago.

      Soon, "I know what you did last summer" will be something we'll be able to say to anyone, with specific details. Pretty creepy.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:43:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What Tailfish says. Squared or cubed. ^^^^ (0+ / 0-)

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen im Vierten Reich! Sie haben keine Bedeutung mehr.

      by Bluefin on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:46:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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