March 29, 2003

Remember that total information system I blogged about, that our wonderful government is working on, under the guise of tracking terrorists? In Wired 11.04: VIEW Howard Bloom spouts the following:
Frankly, the critics are missing the point.

Frankly, Howard Bloom is missing the point.
Well, on your commute, flip the switch to your TIA-developed Communicator platform and initiate a search. It's being designed to knit together all kinds of disparate data: travel documents, phone records, credit card and banking statements, even server logs.

This is exactly the problem. We, the American people, believe that this constitutes an unhealthy level of information about us. We believe that it is practically criminal to be able to piece this information together without a search warrant or a valid reason. The technology will become available to us, as he conjectures. But, there are MANY people out there that I don't want knowing what books I buy, when I travel, where I live, and when I'm likely to be on vacation so they can clean out my house.

Just think what a search engine would do - it would let you pull up Mapquest, and click on a link that tells you who's currently on vacation and when they're likely to return. It would also tell you which ones bought portable DVD players, jewelry and other fenceable items. I really don't understand why Mr. Bloom pretends that this is OK with him. It's certainly not ok with me.

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