Tags: NSA/Surveillance | privacy | data | social media

Privacy Experts Worried About Government Control of Personal Data

Data privacy
Data privacy (GDA via AP)

By    |   Monday, 26 August 2019 11:24 AM

Privacy experts are worried about the potential implications of the government having access to large amounts of genetic and other data, even though many people whose personal information is included never agreed to its use for that purpose, Axios reported on Monday.

Ironically, as federal agencies seek to make use of citizens' personal data, the U.S. government has tried to limit how major tech companies use the personal data they've gathered on their customers.

While tech platforms usually use personal data to target ads, the government can use such information to prevent and solve crimes, deliver benefits to citizens, or illegally target political dissent.

The FBI has specific interest in information from genetic and social media sites because it could help solve crimes and protect the public.

The Wall Street Journal has reported how family DNA testing sites like FamilyTreeDNA are pressured by the FBI to hand over customer data to help solve criminal cases using DNA.

The FBI is also "soliciting proposals from outside vendors for a contract to pull vast quantities of public data" from social media companies, according to the Journal. This is meant to help the agency keep an eye on people's social behavior to "mitigate multifaceted threats."

Gathering large quantities of information on individuals has long been an attraction for governments, Axios reported. For example, in the post 9/11 era, the National Security Agency began a controversial program, seen by many as extra-legal, to broadly monitor phone and other telecommunications messages.

When governments get ahold of large stocks of personal information, even if it is originally for noble reasons, Axios said history has shown it is very tempting for government to use that data for political purposes or personal vendettas.

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Privacy experts are worried about the potential implications of the government having access to large amounts of genetic and other data, even though many people whose personal information is included never agreed to its use for that purpose, Axios reported Monday.
privacy, data, social media
285
2019-24-26
Monday, 26 August 2019 11:24 AM
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