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Hillary Clinton Talks Tech: 9 Facts
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David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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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.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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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,
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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
IW Pick
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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,
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9/2/2014 | 6:15:44 PM
Re: Hillary on privacy pitfalls?
Well said. And Hillary can't control my careless tweets, let alone what a real political enemy will do with her words.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
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9/2/2014 | 6:31:39 PM
Re: Hillary on privacy pitfalls?
>she said the agency "didn't so far as we know cross legal lines, but [it] came right up and sat on them."

Her interpretation of the Fourth Amendment appears to be pretty narrow then.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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9/2/2014 | 7:13:56 PM
Re: Hillary on privacy pitfalls?
>"Hillary can't control my careless tweets, let alone what a real political enemy will do with her words."

Indeed-- and that spins off into a whole different world of political aggravation. The presence of PR pros (whether Hillary's allies or enemies) who try to manipulate these talking points speaks to the vested interest some parties have in conditioning people to continue to rely on talking points-- hence our increasingly divisive culture, and the "echo chamber" ideology that's developed in both right-focused and left-focused media channels. This in turn speaks to the influence of money in the overall process-- who writes the talking points, what gets distilled, what gets excluded, who gets targeted with messaging and why, what transparency the public has into the process, and so on. On the flip side, I think the recent voting record shows that some constituencies have rebelled against politicians and donors who backed talking points that turned out to be lies. I'm not convinced this sort of populist discontent amounts to a corrective measure, but it reminds you that hollow talking points have a shelf life, and often end up canceling out one another.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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9/2/2014 | 7:18:37 PM
Re: Hillary on privacy pitfalls?
Yeah, I thought she brushed that one off a bit too easily. Again, as David and I were discussing in this thread-- a talking point that distills a complicated issue into a deceptively confident statement. I thought it was kind of funny that she said "so far as 'we' know." As the former Secretary of State, I suspect she knows a few more details about this than "we" the public do.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
9/2/2014 | 9:55:20 PM
Re: Hillary on privacy pitfalls?
I think the article was very informative.  Some of her views on tech seem follow current technology trends.  I do agree with her that we need to increase the partnership between government and the private sector.  As the healthcare.gov website demonstrated, the public sector needs to work on getting their IT projects not to fail.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
9/3/2014 | 2:57:16 AM
Re: Hillary on privacy pitfalls?
That's the point - there should be more cooperation between public sector and private ones so that their IT project will not fail. Furthermore, it's good and important that senior political leaders have more insight to high-tech end. This is essential for the future growth of the country.
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