Big Data meets Big Brother

Big Data meets Big Brother

We are going through the most profound change in communication technologies in all of human history right now.

I believe, however, that we are going through the most transformative purely on the basis of three technologies: Mobile, Social Media, and Cloud Computing. These share one very important characteristic and that’s the amount of private information. Information that used to be on our desks or filing cabinets, even in our heads, that we now entrust to third-parties.

Data that we are conscious of and deliberate about. Like the emails we send and the tweets we post. But it also includes a lot of information that we are completely or mostly unconscious about like Personal ID, Geolocation, make and model of our phones.

We are leaving this digital exhaust that contains extraordinarily precise information about our lives, our social relationships reduced to trillions of data points that form now this new ethereal layer around the planet that’s only growing around the planet.

Capabilities are being put in the hands of policymakers, 5 years ago they never imagined they would have. This is where Big Data meets Big Brother.

I’ve always been a fan of the term ‘Hacking’ and Hacktivism, especially Hacktivism which is the combination of Hacking and political activism. And those combined are pretty powerful to me. It’s about encouraging people not to accept technology at face value. We need to encourage people to think about what it is that surrounds them, to question authority in the sense of the authority being the technological environment around them and to realize that the exercise of power is around data.