The perils of big data
Posted Sep 6, 2012 8:30 UTC (Thu) by massimiliano
In reply to: The perils of big data
Parent article: The perils of big data
It's not necessary that you do that though; my favorite example of capability creep is automated toll pass records being subpoenaed to prove a divorce respondent was not where he claimed.
Hmmm... I generally agree with what you said in principle, but every time I see something like the text I quoted above I think that privacy protection risks to go overboard.
There are cases where what you did has legal implications, you should be legally required to say the truth about it, and "witnesses" should be legally required to testify about what you did, again telling the truth.
In those cases I see nothing wrong looking at the trail you left behind paying at an automated toll pass, or switching on your cell phone, or touching a glass without gloves and leaving your fingerprints on it. And I would even say that it is a good thing that those trails are there as long as they are only used when they are legally relevant.
Now, I understand that ensuring this "correctness of use" is not easy. But I also don't like it ending up like where I live, where the government is reducing the ability of the police to intercept phone calls so that the corrupted politicians can safely do their dirty business, and who cares if some other thief or murderer gets away with it in the process...
Back to the spouse case: I don't know if the laws regulating the contract of marriage require the spouses to be sincere with each other but I think they require them to be faithful, so lying in that context sounds illegal to me. And complaining that there's too much data about you that can be looked at to prove that you did something illegal looks strange to me: it's like saying "I want the right to do illegal things and get away with it".
So, again: I agree with what you were saying "in principle" but the example you choose looks plain wrong as an argument supporting privacy: if you want to retain the right to lie to your spouse, please don't get married.
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