[NetBehaviour] Big Data Capabilities and Citizen Glitching.

netbehaviour netbehaviour at furtherfield.org
Mon Nov 19 13:35:34 CET 2012

Big Data Capabilities and Citizen Glitching.

By Dan McQuillan.

Big data has followed the web out of the accelerator tunnels. When I was 
a particle physicist in the late 1980's the data flowing out of 
detectors was nothing like the 1 GB/s produced by the Large Hadron 
Collider[1], while self-generated personal data now flows into Facebook 
data centres at a similar rate. And on this journey out of the 
superconducting dark, big data has (like software) acquired a dimension 
called 'open'.

These days the big open data movement slurries through the streets like 
a mudslide, swirling repetitions of hopeful intention seeping over the 
sandbags of criticality. Big open data will bring transparency, 
accountability and democracy, and will sweep in to line rigid 
institutions and govermental structures.

Perhaps the institutions of power have not been hypnotised by open data. 
Perhaps they are happy to ride the wave for political advantage. In the 
UK, government open data could be a vital lubricant for civic 
outsourcing; part of a privatisation API that slots the Sercos and G4S's 
neatly in to place[2].  Selling off non-anonymised data from the UK's 
National Pupil Database is only the start[.


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