my story on big data across Ohio, which focused on a couple of businesses dealing in that phenomenon as well as what's going on in data analytics education across the state. As I plowed through the article, I puzzled over the larger implications.
Glenn Greenwald penned a May 4 column about über-surveillance in the United States that included a quote from a former FBI agent Tim Clemente regarding our telephone conversations:
... Welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.
One thing I learned in my research is that even as storage gets more and more efficient, big data takes up a WHOLE lot of space that must be temperature/humidity controlled ($$$). The other obvious thing to me about big data is that a lot of people are storing a lot of stuff thinking that one day it may be a "gold mine," but there are not a lot of people who know what to do with all those ones and zeroes.
Do I believe emails might be stored for a long long time? I guess. Digitally speaking, they're tiny. Comparatively speaking, a voice file is huge, although I'm sure there are a zillion nerds out there grinding out compression software for this express purpose. Even so, I'm just not convinced Uncle Sam is saving every thing we say and before I change my mind, I need some answers.
1. How are my conversations recorded?
2. How are they compressed, saved and tagged?
3. How are they stored and for how long?
you can't save everything forever and any disks Uncle Sam's saving that stuff on become obsolete as soon as he loads them up. Remember thinking how the 100 MB Zip discs were huge?
Lastly, out of 1,000 hours of stock American conversation, about five minutes of it may be interesting to Uncle Sam, which leads me to my last question:
How much money am I paying to record, label and store robocalls, endless conversations between Joan and Margie about their monthly cycles and all the time we spend on hold listening to a tinny version of Girl from Ipanema?
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