Confessions of a Recovering Data Broker

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Do data brokers act to serve man? Decide for yourself. The full title of the talk below is “Confessions of a Recovering Data Broker: Responsible Innovation in the Age of Big Data, Big Brother, and the Coming Skynet Terminators.” The presenter is Jim Adler, VP of Products, Metanautix and presented at the 22nd USENIX Security Symposium.

It’s been said that the human brain is comprised of 300 million pattern matchers fed with data from our five primary senses and memories. In this age of distributed computing and cheap storage in the cloud, “thinking” without a biological brain is possible for the first time in history. The sensory input into this new, extra-corporeal brain is big data. Global data supply chains carry exabytes of government, corporate, and social data powering breakthrough uses in medicine, transportation, communications, and energy. However, equally fantastic is the specter of abuses by powerful players to exploit private information, subtly discriminate, or mistakenly prosecute the innocent.


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