Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Able Danger - Part I: What's Data Mining?

Hiawatha Bray's got an article up at the Boston Globe about what Data Mining is. If you use one of those grocery store discount cards--"Fresh Values", "Giant Values"--to get a few dollars off the grocery store bill every week, your data is being mined in a similar way, if for a different purpose.

The "Total Information Awareness", later termed "Terrorism Information Awareness" program was championed by Admiral John Poindexter. Given his Iran-Contra involvement (his felony conviction was overturned, but the damage to his reputation can never be overturned), it was no surprise that his program was shut down.

Could it have rolled up all the hijackers? Poindexter doesn't think so. Like pretty much any problem, the information necessary to solve it only seems obvious after the fact.

(via Irish Pennants)

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