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Hillary Clinton Talks Tech: 9 Facts
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Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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9/2/2014 | 6:07:01 PM
Re: Hillary on privacy pitfalls?
I think you just distilled one of the major challenges facing our democracy.

Our nation faces complex issues that demand a certain amount of meditation. But so much political discourse gets distilled to "talking points," many of them even more condensed than the 140 characters you get on Twitter. These talking points have virtues, but not they're often used to the exclusion of more comprehensive investigation. As you say, some people will read the tweets about this article, but not the article itself. That's not an indictment on people who choose not to read my story; it's a long article, and people have a lot of stuff to do besides reading the news. But what you said made me think about the way people consume information in general, not just on this site. My sense is that segments of our voting population (both left and right) rely too much on talking points-- they like to retweet but rarely click the links, so to speak. Absorbing information that way often yields simulacra at best, and propaganda at worst.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
9/2/2014 | 5:47:28 PM
Re: Hillary on privacy pitfalls?
I was thinking as much as anything about the way I found myself reducing your article to a tweet and a hashtag. People who read the tweet and not the article might have a knee-jerk reaction, if they are suspicious of corporate surveillance.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
9/2/2014 | 5:36:33 PM
Re: Hillary on privacy pitfalls?
Great point, David!

She didn't address this concern categorically, but she did allude to the full scope of privacy concerns, beyond government agencies such as the NSA. She noted in a pretty pointed tone that corporations have much more data about us than the government does, for instance, though she didn't explore the implications. But you're right-- it's something she'll need to address in greater depth if she is going to continue championing big data technologies. Of the technologies she discussed, she spoke most enthusiastically about big data. She spent several minutes arguing that because the U.S. possess one-third of the world's data (not sure how that's quantified), our newfound ability to analyze all that information gives the country a competitive advantage. I think that's a far statement-- but only if the pitfalls you mention are given their due consideration as new technologies are implemented.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
9/2/2014 | 5:29:16 PM
Hillary on privacy pitfalls?
If Hillary addressed the potential of big data technologies, I hope she also had something to say about its privacy pitfalls -- if not, I think she's wandering into a political minefield.
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