I’ve just started reading Stasiland, so Charles Stross’s post title- The sound of Erich Honnecker, wanking furiously in his grave– was a little bit more immediate. Stross connects the dots on the Government’s misplaced desire for a “panopticon singularity” where they’ll be able to spy on everything and know nothing.
The usual argument is that those who aren’t criminals have nothing to fear from Big Data. The truth is quite the opposite- the innocent have more to fear than the guilty. They run the risk of being harassed and even jailed because of corrupt data, badly input data, incomplete data, maliciously edited data, bad data capture, poorly defined search terms and incompetence at all the levels of data collection and analysis. All the guilty person has to worry about is getting caught.
On the other hand, I may not have to worry about any of this. They may simply lock me up for putting naughty pictures onto the Internet.