Remember The MATRIX? Former Drug Smuggler In Charge Of It Is Building More Databases…

from the and-getting-questionable-info dept

Remember the MATRIX? No, not the movie, but the highly controversial gov’t database that was to store and access all sorts of information on people, and kick out any individual’s “terrorist quotient,” if necessary. After a lot of negative publicity… and someone hacking into the database, the project was shut down in 2005. But, apparently the guy behind it is back with another attempt at a massive database. Michael Scott points us to a profile of the guy who ran the MATRIX (turns out he’s a former drug smuggler, so that should make you more comfortable), who since then has started another operation that is also trying to build up another big database of private info, and is using the always popular method of positioning it as something useful “to protect the children.”

Apparently, he’s set up the database to help find missing children and track down those who abduct them. This is absolutely a worthy cause — but there are some serious questions about the method here. He’s letting law enforcement use the technology he’s developing for free, but in exchange many believe he’s trying to get access to government databases to add more data to his own collection. Certainly, some government officials are happily using his technology, but others were turned off by some of the meetings, where they felt that the guy was asking for way too much — including financial records and even movie rental history.

It’s no secret that there are a bunch of big database companies out there creating huge profiles of pretty much everyone… but it does seem a bit sketchy when a guy who has tried to do similar things in the past (and had them shut down) shows up again trying to gain access to private government databases to include in his own system, in exchange for giving the police free access to that system.

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