Big data is really big and it is difficult for us to hide. There is little about human behavior that cannot be predicted with 80-90% accuracy if the correct dataset is used. Facebook Likes have recently been in the news for correctly predicting even if the parents of the person were separated. Combine that with Google search history and a person becomes truly transparent. As more and more people use personal devices like tablets, there is no way one can hide.
The trend began in 1970's when use of the credit cards became popular because of the convenience it offered. One swipe of the card for even an innocent purchase like a carton of milk, revealed the name, age, sex, work information, banking information, credit history, product preferences, purchase frequency and several other important set of data that allowed the marketing companies to make their services more efficient and cut costs.
Whether such loss of personal information is good or bad for us, is for us to decide and take appropriate measures if we think that privacy needs to be protected.
After 9/11 anything the government wanted from your corporate DB was put on high priority and handed to them.
The really strange thing is people did not know this !! ?
Persons of Interest is a good show. They need to add at the beginning:
"30 minutes into the future..."
(That is what Max Headroom had, as I recall)
They know everything about everyone with a computer or atblet or any such device , or at least can in the twinkling of an eye get to you , Credit rating agencies, Debt Collectors, Mass Marketing , systems , Banks , Government agencies, trade union records and also the Court records etc , what about the Agencies like NSa which have direct access to the servers of Nine major Us operators like Google, Yahoo,Pal Talk, Apple (added in 2012 october), Aol, Skype and some others I cannot remember much - they have access to not just metadata but the whole thing pictures and files sent , mails, video conferencing and Internet telephony - the US department NSA was planning on adding drop box also when some party spoiler in the press blew the lid off. This agenda called PRISM has been going on secretly since 2007 and in 2010 the British GCHQ - which is electronic surveillance and eves dropping wing of the UK joined in this set up and actually used the data from the NSA which is going under a name called PRISM.
I remember there was a case in germany by an individual who had unsubscribed from Facebook and had his account deleted by request etc etc. He later came to know that Facebook was still having his data , he was furious and petitioned the court , facebook came up with some tecnical details etc and legal as to what "deleting'' nebt in their parlance etc etc , the court was however unimpressed and asked for a full hard copy transcript of this persons account in their records , amazingly it came to about 22,000 pages of data , and he had been member for just 6 months or so before he got disgusted and left the forum and wrote and asked for a deletion. Suffice to say - his account was deleted by face book under court order and to the satisfaction of the plaintiff.
If NSA and GCHQ are involved it is obvious that MOSSAD is already able to get all information since they are smarter and monitor all locations of the NSA and GCHQ and the French Intelligence system communications network !!.
The Chinese were more insidious , whereby they were found to be preprogramming things into the USBs and other devices being sold world wide when it blew up , they are reported to have stopped it , but nothing was recalled and it is estimated that over 50 million devices were already in the cyber world and operating.
In UAE where I was living there was a problem with Blackberry Users - this was in 2010 , everyone found that their batteries needed recharging , quite frequently and it went on for about 6 or more months , when the lid blew off a scandal , it was detected by an IT guy who had come from Qatar to meet his friend , and got curious about this , he soon found out that the Government Service provider (ETISALAT) has shoved in an patch through an update operation aimed at Blackberry users , which once the mail was started or used by the owner of the phone would keep it open and live and access all his mails and conversations , there was abig problem with RIM (blackberry guys ) and the government threatened to withdraw all services unless access was allowed etc etc on a restricted basis . This was done since India had already intimated that they were going to ban blackberries and twisted RIM and got them to accede to the request that RIM provide access to their server with/without encryption.
In India in every state the Department Of Communications has been on a policy of keeping high end survellance and electronic and other things to monitor and retrieve data of all Mobile conversations etc , it is whole sale tapping of or listening in by the Government of India, In My state the programme is almost over , whlist in other states the rate of its progress varies . The poloce departments do not have to get any legal assent since the government cleverly deployed this as a separate state government necessity or programme and the states can deploy the hardware and acquire the ability . So basically it is the States which are doing this (on paper). many have almost finished and the equipment used is really very sophisticated and high end like what normally governments use to monitor air waves etc . And the cyber cell actually in every state just liaises between the government departments like police and other who require info. Nowadays the crooks (at least in my state ) are caught so quickly that they probably have a life time of not more than maximum 48 hours before they are caught. Everyone is doing this to everyone we are in the public domain there is nothing as privacy , it is correct that things should be so after all are we not a society ? Individual is the sacrifice . It is the end of the road of life as we knew and not necessarily for the better , posting snail mail is safer if you want nostalgia and privacy .
Power is too good a thing to pass up , so it is the price we have to pay for living with all this rubbish