Big Data Privacy: What the V for Vendetta speech would look like today


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Good evening, followers.

Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine – the data security of the familiar, the tranquility of process repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with an analyst conference or the end of some awful Magic Quadrant, the celebration of a recent mayorship badge, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little Chatter.

There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into smartphones, and men with iPads will soon be on their way. Why? Because while WhatsApp may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this Big Data, isn’t there? Privacy and monitoring, analysis and prediction. And where once you had the freedom to opt out, to think and blog as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your data conformity and soliciting your privacy submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? Twitter, FourSquare, LinkedIn. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your privacy and rob you of your data. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Zarc Muckerberg. He promised you Timeline, he promised you Places, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient data consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed their Cloud, to remind this World of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, anonymity, and data freedom are more than words, they are perspectives.

So if you’ve seen nothing, if their use of your data remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the server farm, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Theo Priestley
Theo Priestley is Vice President and Chief Evangelist at Software AG, responsible for enabling the marketing and voice of the industry's leading Business Process, Big Data/ In-Memory/ Complex Event Processing, Integration and Transaction suite of platforms. Theo writes for several technology and business related sites including his own successful blog IT Redux. When he isn't evangelizing he's playing videogames, collecting comics and takes the odd photo now and then. Theo was previously an independent industry analyst and successful enterprise transformation consultant.


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