🎁'Tis the season to support public service journalism Donate Now

Big Brother from big data?

Marc Sanchez Oct 11, 2011

In other privacy news, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity announced it will begin a three-year study, trying to harness “big data” and use it to predict the future. Researchers will crunch numbers from everywhere – social media, web searches, cell phone data, traffic cameras, financial market movements – to see if they can figure out when and where global events are most likely to occur. As the New York Times reports, “It is intended to be an entirely automated system, a “data eye in the sky” without human intervention, according to the program proposal. The research would not be limited to political and economic events, but would also explore the ability to predict pandemics and other types of widespread contagion, something that has been pursued independently by civilian researchers and by companies like Google.”

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.