Data Mining and Domestic Security: Connecting the Dots to Make Sense of Data

by K. A. Taipale

5 Colum. Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 2 (2003) (Published December 15, 2003)


Official U.S. Government policy calls for the research, development, and implementation of advanced information technologies for aggregating and analyzing data, including data mining, in the effort to protect domestic security. Civil libertarians and libertarians alike have decried and opposed these efforts as an unprecedented invasion of privacy and a threat to our freedoms.
This Article examines these technologies in the context of domestic security. The purpose of this Article is not to critique or endorse any particular proposed use of these technologies but, rather, to inform the debate by elucidating the intersection of technology potential and development with legitimate privacy concerns. This Article argues that security with privacy can be achieved by employing value-sensitive technology development strategies that take privacy concerns into account during development, in particular, by building in rule-based processing, selective revelation, and strong credential and audit features. This Article does not argue that these technical features alone can eliminate privacy concerns but, rather, that these features can enable familiar, existing privacy protecting oversight and control mechanisms, procedures and doctrines (or their analogues) to be applied in order to control the use of these new technologies.

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