KDnuggets : News : 2006 : n05 : item25 < PREVIOUS | NEXT >


Subject: Why Data Mining Won't Stop Terror

Wired, Commentary by Bruce Schneier, Mar, 09, 2006

In the post-9/11 world, there's much focus on connecting the dots. Many believe data mining is the crystal ball that will enable us to uncover future terrorist plots. But even in the most wildly optimistic projections, data mining isn't tenable for that purpose. We're not trading privacy for security; we're giving up privacy and getting no security in return.

Most people first learned about data mining in November 2002, when news broke about a massive government data mining program called Total Information Awareness. The basic idea was as audacious as it was repellent: suck up as much data as possible about everyone, sift through it with massive computers, and investigate patterns that might indicate terrorist plots.


The promise of data mining is compelling, and convinces many. But it's wrong. We're not going to find terrorist plots through systems like this, and we're going to waste valuable resources chasing down false alarms. To understand why, we have to look at the economics of the system.

Here is the rest of the story.

KDnuggets : News : 2006 : n05 : item25 < PREVIOUS | NEXT >

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