This is the first huge effort on data mining I can think of. It is the :CueCat. Distributed free by Radio Shack and funded by a myriad of corporations. Several of them are listed in the WikiPedia article. However, data mining predates the :CueCat (See this article.)
So, if it has been going on for centuries, why are we hearing about it 24/7 on the news in this common era?
I would suggest that this is a "Digital Awakening." For more than a decade, use of the Internet has been growing. Classification of access to the Internet possibly will be changed to a utility. If it is classified as a utility, then controls and regulation of use and availability is on the next page of the story.
People realize that the Internet, largely is a bastion of anarchy. Although we try to apply artificial controls on digital communications, all have failed. The only way to control digital communications is by physically disabling the connection. I used to have the mantra: "Where there's a will, there's a hack." I was very good at defeating methods of containing my digital connection. Many of my former coworkers can attest to that.
I was challenged to defeat an impenetrable proxy. It took me five minutes largely because it was a slow computer and it couldn't keep up.
"Can't be tracked" concept
I laugh at this.
This is a fraud perpetrated by people that do not wish to store logs. (Rhyme, not intended.)
Every digital transaction can be logged. Logging is turned on by default on many computer systems and network connective tissue. However, this sounds reminiscent of something we did with libraries in 1973. This links to an article alluding to the 1973 Cold War issue that resurfaced in 2002 in the Patriot Act. We must ask ourselves if just because we can do something, do we really want to do it?
I stand responsible for the information that my brain ingests. I don't read one article on anything. And I definitely do not get my information from social media. WikiPedia is a form of social media. Anyone, I mean anyone, can change the data on WikiPedia at will. I know I used a like to an article, but it was about a :CueCat where accuracy really didn't mean a whole lot.
We are a country of free media. I love free media. But, with freedom, we have responsibility. We must do our diligence. We have not. We like reading the first story that pops in front of us and the juicier the better.
Well, 98% of that is BS.
Read more, and from a variety of sources. The truth is there, somewhere. It is our job and responsibility to find it.
Should Facebook be regulated as a media source? Maybe so. It definitely behaves like one. They definitely have the cash reserves to do it. Would that cure the problem? I don't know. Are you going to stop sharing everything that is cute (which likely has data mining as its real goal)?
What the media is not saying when they attack Facebook and other social media outlets is that they are trying to protect us from us.
Frankly, I rather be my own cop. It takes work. Reading traditional print media helps. Support your local newspaper and get a subscription.
Thanks for reading,
Jay C. "Jazzy_J" Theriot