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WHO are we?: the sum of our data or some other person?

Friends, strangers, corporations, organizations, and shadowy online 'entities' all "REALLY wanna know" as much about you as possible. Often more than you would ever consciously reveal.

Big Data vs Individual Liberty

In 2005 the ACLU, Privacy International (a British civil liberties organization), the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and other international partners launched the Global Internet Liberty Campaign.  Their continuing goal remains countering governmental actions and policies which promote surveillance as the most effective weapon against terrorism.  Among other efforts, they attempt to monitor the creation of "Big Data" - massive datasets aggregated from multiple sources - that have the potential to erode individual liberties including privacy.  Among their Statement of Principles: "Ensuring that personal information generated on the GII (Global Information Infrastructure) for one purpose is not used for an unrelated purpose or disclosed without the person's informed consent and enabling individuals to review personal information on the Internet and to correct inaccurate information."

Ordering Pizza in the Future

Biggest Data

The biggest data aggregators in the global information infrastructure are government agencies: national, regional, and local.

Privacy International created a global map illustrating levels of surveillance and data collection (2007)

World Surveillance map legend

World Surveillance map (Privacy Intl) 2007

Biggest Data 2

Biggest Data 2

Commercial entities make up the second largest type of data aggregators.

Of the companies in this arena, Acxiom is one of the largest.  Under older names this company has been in the data aggregation business since the days of hand-eye comparisons of paper telephone and city directories.  There Opt-out Request form presents an informative overview of what one gains and loses by being part of their data aggregations.