Big Data, Big Government, Big Brother

What is the Federal Government trying to do?

On its face, the same thing it has always done: law enforcement and foreign intelligence. But now it has a lot more tools. Gathering reams and reams of “meta-data” about phone calls, emails, social-media postings, credit-card purchases, and other digital activity sounds pretty creepy. We know that companies want to predict and manage what we do—it’s called marketing. But when the government does it, what do we call it?

It’s not like this is something new. The Feds have been buying commercial databases for years, looking for predictive patterns to help them unravel terrorist plots and other threats. Buying data allows agencies get around certain legal restraints. Yes, I want to be safe from terrorists. But no, I don’t want people from the government snooping into my personal affairs.

There’s a trade-off between security and liberty, as anyone who has flown knows. But it’s Ben Franklin who once noted that “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Let’s hope we can figure out what’s truly essential.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

By |2017-07-17T12:34:39+00:00June 10th, 2013|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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