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[liberationtech] Happy Creepy February!

Nick M. Daly nick.m.daly at gmail.com
Sun Feb 10 11:47:18 PST 2013


Thanks to investigative work by the Guardian, we can tell just how many
steps back online privacy's taken this year.  It's unfortunate:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/10/software-tracks-social-media-defence

    A multinational security firm has secretly developed software
    capable of tracking people's movements and predicting future
    behaviour by mining data from social networking websites...  [T]he
    Massachusetts-based company has acknowledged the technology was
    shared with US government and industry as part of a joint research
    and development effort, in 2010, to help build a national security
    system capable of analysing "trillions of entities" from cyberspace.

In developing this product, Raytheon seems to make two fundamentally
flawed assumptions:

1. That people never make invalid interpretations of the data.  Read up
   on Type I errors for the details:

       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_I_and_type_II_errors

2. That collecting and sharing this data (and those invalid assumptions)
   is ever desirable.  This is what Daniel Solove was warning about in
   his "I've Got Nothing to Hide..." article.

       https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=998565

I wish I knew more about how Raytheon was accessing the data and what
the lag times were (between tweeting and when the tweet is searchable,
for example).

Nick


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