BIG Plans, BIG Data, BIG Brother – Who IS watching you?
Last year, the Federal Reserve announced ‘BIG plans’ for a ‘BIG data’ project to be launched in December of 2011. This ambitious social media monitoring project monitors Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, blogs, and forums. In addition to these sites, CNN, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, and Google News will also be monitored. Talk about ‘BIG Brother’ watching over you. The rest of the world had better watch out too as this project is to monitor social media worldwide. The purpose though is seemingly innocuous. According to the Federal Reserve, “The reason for contemplating such an effort is to get a better sense of the relevant concerns and discussions that are taking place in the public domain in order to improve our communications and engagement with the public.”
Government is using social media monitoring to gain an understanding of issues and gauge the feelings of voters in general about a variety of topics. Politicians have jumped on the band wagon and are increasingly using social media to reach new and potential voters in new and different ways. Somehow, when you think of the government monitoring, is it an intrusion of privacy? Large private companies are increasingly using social media monitoring. It would probably surprise us all to know what vendors know about us. Actually that bothers me somewhat, but I won’t lose any sleep over it. Why does it seem rather frightening that the government is doing it?
Additional information can be found in our white paper Managing Unstructured Content in the Cloud if you are interested.