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Big Data Is Watching

YOUR LIFE AT THEIR DISPOSAL

From now on governments (i.e. your government) will be able to create your "digital avatar" from Big Data. Furthermore, this avatar will be updated in near-real time and as all information is now digital; this means that they will know everything that you do or do not do. Not only that, they will know your spending habits and sexual preferences, your diet and medical conditions, your romantic intentions and sport desires, your intellectual capacity, political views, ideas, opinions, ambitions, frustrations and accomplishments. As They Want Everything, everything is what they will get. With everything at their disposal and brand new tools designed to sift through Big Data, they will know you better than you know yourself. We are but a hair thickness away from governments, your government, having total, complete and unrestricted access to any and all events and even inclinations in your life, no matter how personal. From now on the only privacy you have is whatever remains forever locked in your mind... until governments decide to go even for this.

DELUSIONS AND MIS-INFORMATION

Naïve people and government apparatchiks and politicians will tell you that you should not worry; that "privacy" laws are in place to "protect" your privacy. You would do well in reading the "fine print" of such laws. They specify that your information is protected from third parties, not from governments (this assuming those laws actually work - how much more naive can people get?). Which is akin to say that the mob will "protect" you against your neighbour, but who is going to protect you against the mob?

You think that this is a joke. Fair enough. Go to your government and inquire as to what data is actually being collated and analyzed by them, particularly by tax "agencies". You will notice that as soon as you approach this topic of conversation, all "sources" will suddenly stop talking to you. You are not entitled to know what information your government has about you and what is it doing with it. Period.

Not only that, if you follow the thread of this investigation, you will notice that the aggressiveness with which governments are collecting data has no limits. They Want Everything and they want it now!

THE WORST OF BOTH WORLDS

If we now take what we know about Big Data and we couple it with the big push to go biometric (see Biometrics The Final Frontier) you have an unbeatable one-two punch to your freedom (whatever tiny, microscopic sliver of it we may still retain). In the near future (and we mean very near, almost imminent) you won't be able to go anywhere or do anything without the government knowing it at near-real time (see also Uruguay - When Cash Becomes Illegal). We are absolutely sure that people don't have a clue what is going on and that nobody really cares about this. It could not be otherwise since they have been thoroughly brainwashed for at least two generations (Lost Memories). But when you stop for a second and consider the implications, things begin to sink in.

Consider this scenario in today's world. You wake-up and turn on the lights; they will know it because your house has been fitted with a "smart" energy meter. It's a little chilly and heating kicks-in. They will know it because your thermostat is controlled by them. You listen to the news from the TV and they know about it because information is being streamed on-demand. You go to the washroom and flush the toilet and they know it because the smart water meter so detects. You prepare your breakfast and they know it because your energy consumption spikes. You prepare to leave the house and they know it because your energy use now drops. You leave the house and they know it because you set your alarm on. And so on. Every step, every action, every process in your life is being monitored now to one degree or another. But in the very near future, all these technologies harvesting your data, won't be optional. No smart meter? No electricity. No on-demand streaming? No TV. And so on. Assume that everything "smart" is being logged because it is. Today. This is not science fiction, it is technology. Today. Every company providing you with a good or service is logging as much as they possibly can about your habits and that data is accessible to governments. Today.

THOSE EVIL, EVIL CORPORATIONS

In all this maelstrom of paranoia (very powerful whirlpool of policies capable of sucking in your life) we have corporations at its core. Governments do collect data, particularly communication intercepts, but the vast majority of daily, routine information comes from commercial sources. It is obvious then that corporations are to be blamed and we need stronger privacy laws to safeguard our data, right? Wrong!

Corporations collate data for one and one purpose only: profits. Better data provides better analysis which drives better products to better satisfy your needs. This is what happens in a true free market. Basically, they can make you a better offer but they can't make you take it and this is the only way. Unless…

Unless there is a government present willing to pay ridiculous amounts of money on a permanent basis (because they have bottomless pockets - literally). Then a second way to make money suddenly appears and as a corporation's primary goal is to make money, they will take this opportunity and run with it.

Again, look at the situation. When governments are not present, corporations use this data to serve you better. When governments are present, corporations sell this data to oppress you better. Notice the difference? Notice the "enabling" organization present in the mix? Notice how no-government means no-oppression? The conclusion is as obvious as the beginning of civilization: no governments implies no problems.

YOU ARE SCREWED

That's right. We thought that for once we may be direct instead of making use of our well known and traditional "political correctness". Basically, you are screwed. And so are we. And your neighbour. And our neighbour and everybody else on earth. Game over.

Consider this. Why is that governments actually need this information? This amount of information is useless when it comes to making policy decisions because such policies are a matter of subjective agreements between parties in power. This amount of information is useful for one and only one purpose: control. If you know that you cannot cheat, you will be pliable to whatever governments (i.e. politicians) say that you must be pliable to. This has absolutely nothing to do with "justice" or "freedom" or "privacy" or "better government" or "responsibility" or any other political buzzwords. It is all about control and you are the target. Big Data is the end game because this is a digital world and you cannot escape from it.

CONCLUSION

Governments are making massive efforts to distil Big Data into a massive tool for coercion and ultimate control and you are the target. In the book "1984" Orwell believed that he depicted a very depressing future, so much so that the expression "Orwellian" signifies total oppression and control even today. Unfortunately, this term is now deprecated. From now on we must refer to the ultimate totalitarian regime as BigDaterian and you are the unwilling participant. He who controls Big Data controls the world and everybody in it. F&P.

But you have nothing to hide right? You are an open book. You welcome your government to know as much as they like about your life because they are from the government and they are here to help. What could possibly go wrong, right? Sure. No problem. Just one tiny disclaimer. When their knowledge about you finally forces you into slavery because they will know everything, don't come crying for help. It will be too late.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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