By Jeff Gould
The recently revived debate over the UK’s draft communications data bill and its so-called snoopers’ charter raises justifiable concerns about government attempts to monitor citizens’ internet browsing behaviour and email correspondence with the cooperation of private companies.
The collection of data and the subsequent potential to engage in profiling or mining of that information is indeed a powerful tool and not just for surveillance. Some of the world’s most successful companies have built their business models around data mining users’ online activity, generating billions in profits. It’s clear that governments and companies alike are benefiting from citizens’ willingness, or simply the necessity, to produce and share data.
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