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Hadoop: The NSA-Fueled Privacy Invasion Machine

· Big Data Zone

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Hadoop users, or anybody interested in Big Data in general, may be interested in this recent article from Salon about the nefarious uses of Hadoop. A significant portion of the article is focused on explaining Hadoop - where it came from, how it works, and so on - due to the audience, but then there's also the good stuff. For example:

But what ended up getting enabled by the success of Hadoop is something significantly different than good old peer-to-peer sharing. The ability to make sense out of petabytes of data isn’t necessarily useful to you or me. But it’s god’s gift to the profit-minded corporations and terrorist-seeking intelligence agencies seeking to leverage the data we generate for their own purposes, to measure our behavior and ultimately to influence it ... This is no longer about sharing information with each other; it’s about manipulation, control and punishment.

It's not that this is all invalid; there's definitely quite a bit of truth here. But there also seem to be some fear-mongering and finger-pointing elements - for instance, that Hadoop is to blame here, rather than a lack of privacy laws - and it's always interesting, or frustrating, to see the way something from within a community is presented outside of that community. You know, like the way a teenager feels when his or her parents are talking about pop music: This is not yours.

Your interpretation likely depends entirely on your point of view, but it's an interesting read for anybody working in any capacity with Hadoop.

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