Mining Personal Data

KDnuggets points to an interesting article, The Joys of Data-Mining, about personal data that may be useful for political purposes. Although the paper is quite short, it gives a good introduction of possible information you can get from a voter. Starting with these few lines, it is easy to imagine all useful information one can get from such data. I’m wondering if voters know that these kinds of databases exist. Of course, at the time you get your first fidelity card in a shop, you’re on some list.

I think that knowing where you live, your occupation or what you eat, separately, is not so dangerous (of course, it is still about privacy). However, if these data are merged, the problem is different. Imagine if the same company knows your address, what you eat, what are your hobbies and what you search on the Web…

Maybe some companies already have this information. I’m not thinking at the “don’t be evil” monster, Google, that records everything it can in a somehow hidden way. I’m thinking of websites such as Facebook where people put all their personal information voluntarily online. Most of the people know that they spread their information worldwide, but they certainly don’t know the value of all these data for companies…

Interested people can read the entire article.


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