— Heather Brooke American journalist 1970
Attributed, Chatham House Talk (September 28, 2011)
Context: I want to put paid to this idea that if you've nothing to fear, you've nothing to hide. I interviewed a really interesting guy in this book. He ran the data campaign for the Obama election, when Obama was being elected. And what they do is they just harvest huge troves of databases. And they're doing it for the basis of trying to predict who might vote for Obama in the election. And he just took me through this whole data business – data brokerage, data dealing. And he showed me this 10,000... well, it was a 464 page dictionary, a data dictionary, with 10,000 data units in it. So that's for every person, it's 10,000 things that you could find out about that person. Their political association, if they drink Coke or Diet Coke, what sort of magazines do they subscribe to, have they ever had any court cases against them. It's just like a raft of stuff. The problem is, is how these things are used. It's fine if somebody wants to sell you some products, but increasingly states are accessing all this information. And they're building algorithms to try and predict criminals. … It's pretty well-known that the National Security Agency in America is building algorithms and it's taking all of these datasets and basically trying to predict who is going to be a problem for us in future. And to me that just seems an incredibly dangerous road for us to go down, that you’re no longer innocent until proven guilty. We’re starting to imagine or predict who is going to be a problem.