Hiding a Pregnancy from Big Data

Been meaning to cover this one for a while, now the story ‘went big’ so might as well.

Woman gets pregnant; decides to try and hide her pregnancy from the clutches of Big Data.

This is harder than it might seem, as no doubt y’all remember the story about the Target store knowing a girl was expecting before her dad did. (And I feel like there was another Target store which knew a woman was pregnant before SHE did.)

While paying cash & using gift cards & hiding her IP went far, it turns out this isn’t the biggest problem. The biggest problem, as in so many other aspects of security, was — other people.

Her friends and family simply couldn’t seem to learn that “DON’T MENTION IT ON FACEBOOK” means, “don’t mention it on Facebook, whether in a so-called private message or elsewhere.”

To make matters worse, trying to stay off the grid made her look like a crook. Summing things up, she explains the huge problem with modern data-gobbling techniques:

“[…] avoiding the big data dragnet meant that I not only looked like a rude family member or an inconsiderate friend, I also looked like a bad citizen.

[…] the data-driven path we are currently on, paved with heartwarming rhetoric of openness, sharing and connectivity, actually undermines civic values, and circumvents checks and balances.”


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