[Linux-aus] Seeking feedback - EFA Citizens Not Suspects campaign

Paul Shirren shirro at shirro.com
Thu Jun 20 10:03:48 EST 2013

On 20/06/13 9:00 AM, David Lyon wrote:
> On 12.06.2013 23:28, Wolfe, Robert wrote:
>> I was watching The Colbert Report today and saw where he
>> mentioned that companies like Verizon were "building value" into its
>> services by data mining and storing/sharing our phone records.  This
>> also would apply to how ISPs here in the States are "building value"
>> by
>> turning in those users who use P2P networks for file sharing.
> That's interesting.
> How does that work ? Are the Authorities offering to pay compensation
> to on successful prosecutions ? I'd love to know what business model
> they are using to facilitate that.

I imagine they anonymise and aggregate the data and sell it to people 
who are interested in analysing behaviour for purposes such as 
marketing. For instance someone might find it interesting to know what 
markets were having a spike in connections of a competitor's smart phone 
or how much call volume was generated by events. It would be hard to 
imagine how they could sell information with identifying details without 
breaching privacy laws in most places if they don't aggregate. I think 
it can be quite easy to reconstruct identifying information from 
supposedly anonymised data. I think people have done this before with 
search data.

I imagine there are hordes of geeks fresh out of data analysis and 
machine learning classes keen to get their hands on huge data sets 
telling their bosses how they need to get on board or miss out. Probably 
the spy agencies are full of them as well. It is a fascinating area and 
one day I am sure they will generate something of value from it. 
Meanwhile the old maxim is true. If you aren't paying for the product 
you probably are the product.

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