Big Data = Big Failure I

6 maj 2021  PRIVACY

The vast amount of data collected today makes it possible to predict political opinions, beliefs, religion, and interests, a collection of data that is strictly forbidden by law. And in great need of abidance.

Possession of data equals possession of power, and we can’t in good conscience trust anyone with that power. Welcome to a three-part series, introduced today and continued over the next two Thursdays, about how big data collection is one of the biggest failures to mankind. And yes, we are repeating ourselves.

  1. In this blog, we explain the background in which a privacy-focused VPN provider feels the need to address this kind of question.
  2. In part two, we explain how storing series of anonymous data is simply not possible.
  3. Part three ties it all together as we explain why everyone is breaking the law and what to do about it.

Foundation of democracy

One of the biggest consensuses in history and a foundation of democracy is the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). UDHR is an international document which enshrines the rights and freedoms of all human beings. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 (58 members at the time).

Privacy and the right of the individual

UDHR Article 12 covers privacy. It declares that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

The right to privacy in the digital era

For instance, the more recent EU law on data protection, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), clearly states as a main rule that you may not process personal data about a person’s

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • sexual orientation
  • political opinions
  • religious or philosophical beliefs.

But they all do

We all know that search engines and social media store enough data to predict all of the above and more based on Facebook pixel's technology, cookies, and other tracking techniques. For some odd reason, they are allowed to continuously do so.

The problem is that only so much data can be kept before someone is enticed by the amount stored and processes it. In our next blog about Big Data, we will examine how one data point in a series can be de-anonymized at any time.

What you can do

Start by clearing your schedule for the next 30 minutes and lean forward: here is the start of your privacy journey. Ready for your determination!

For the universal right to privacy,

Mullvad VPN