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Showing posts from April, 2018

Why the US Government Needs a User Agreement

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Before the US government gets carried away trying to regulate Facebook and other major tech companies, it should take a very long look inside its own walls.
The U.S. government is the biggest data miner in the country, dwarfing any tech company, including Facebook, in terms of the impact their data collection has on Americans lives. It starts with the Census Bureau—America’s repository of big data—which collects information on Americans’ ethnicity, age, health status, military status and more.
But it doesn’t stop there—the data also show where Americans live, what kind of housing they live in, what they earn, where they live, how they commute, what they spend on food, rent, housing, clothing, whether they have a desktop or a laptop, whether they’re on the Food Stamp program, and how long it takes to get to work to name just a few of the 77 questions in the American Community Survey.
And here’s my favorite: “About how much do you think this house and lot, apartment, or mobile home (and …