Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dataveillance and Digital Clones

The recent disclosures about NSA have brought to light how our national security agencies use meta data, the electronic trail left by the array of digital devices that have are part of our daily life. Information generated by our phones, the cellphone towers that are used to complete our calls as we drive and talk and create mayhem on the highways. IP addresses from our laptops and digital communications as we sign on in Starbucks, hotel lobbies, and at home. Then there is the vast collection of "dark data", the dark data created by the systems in our cars that are used to help automative technicians diagnose problems with our cars, the commercial use of that data to let our insurance companies get a picture of our driving habits, information from medical devices like radiation machines calibrated across the network, information from our EZ-Pass devices for paying tolls and a host of similar commercial electronics used to track shipments, make sure truck drivers take the mandatory rest periods and the black boxes in airplanes used to reconstruct traffic incidents.

The systematic mapping and analysis of this type of meta data, the individual pieces of information these devices create, is called dataveillance, a linguistic portmanteau of data and surveillance. 

The Latest at Way Better Patents presents a discussion of dataveillance in the patent world as well as how Stephen Carter invented digital clones to travel around the internet on your behalf to throw off those who seek to track your digital presence.  

We added links to articles on initiatives within the Government to created unique IDs for each of us on the internet, an article the presents how the British would have found Paul Revere in 1772 if they had NSA's technology, and some interesting prior art articles on chatbots which let you create a digital persona to protect your identity on the web and as always, links to the patents.