Big Brother - What kind of data is your cell phone company collecting?
I read a very interesting book called "The Numerati" by Stephan Baker (in Hebrew "אשפי המספרים"). The book describes some of the real-world implementation of
Big Data. I enjoyed reading it and found it very interesting.
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Numerati-Stephen-Baker/dp/0618784608
Link to the blog: http://thenumerati.net/
I also saw recently a very interesting lecture at TED about the information collected by the cellular company and how much can they tell
about you (and me) just because they know where exactly you are every day and
night. Where is your home, how long you travel to work, how often you go to
movies and how much time you spend at home / pubs / shopping malls.... How many days you were abroad and in which country. etc. etc.
The video: http://www.ted.com/talks/malte_spitz_your_phone_company_is_watching.html . This is the story of a German guy who got 34,000 rows from the cellular
company, telling him what he did in the last 6 month. He analyzed it, published the results and was invited to talk in TED.
What can be done about it? Not much. The data is stored by those
companies for a reason. However, after short time they should delete it
(usually they don't) and not analyze it (unless the police ask you too).
The BI Architect in me says: this is amazing! I can run crazy queries on this data and enrich it easily to get a very precise insights
about one's life. The civilian in me (which is about 99%) says: this is bad! They must delete this info immediately.
Will they? I seriously doubt it.
Will the government step in and do something about it?