Data Mining Online and On the Street

Data mining is big business. Corporations need this extra knowledge to stay in the game. Who do they get to do their data mining? Why not the government and while they’re at it why not have the taxpayer pay for the collection of data.

There are two basic kinds of data mining. One is online monitoring and the other is physical surveillance.

In 2013, Bob Mackin reported that the BC government had 225 positions in public affairs with 18 fully dedicated to media monitoring.

Is the government also paying for ‘bumper bots’ to follow ‘targets’ around? Are all the ‘bumper bots’ Americans who have arrived here under the guise of a temporary worker or a student program? They must have access to fleets of vehicles that are brought in and rotated on a regular basis, in order to carry out a project on a province-wide scale.

If such a government program exists, how many years has the ‘bumper bot’ program been in operation and how much has it cost taxpayers?

Long Form Census

Just recently, Stats Canada asked Canadians to complete a long form census. Here is a sampling of the questions:

  • have you suffered from depression, substance abuse or anorexia?
  • do you have difficulty using your hands or walking up stairs?
  • do you have long term health problems?
  • who do you work for? (give name and street address)
  • what’s your job title and job description?
  • what time do you leave for work?
  • how many rooms are there where you live?
  • how many bedrooms?
  • how much money do you spend on gas and electricity?

The government claims that answers to some of these questions will provide necessary information to develop strategies for housing. Homeless people can be found in every town in BC. There’s a crisis out there. Why are they not doing a national census of the homeless? Or is it because no corporation is interested?

Dead Data

Take the issue of substance abuse. The hospitals have all the stats on overdoses and yet the government doesn’t even have a national policy on what information they get from emergency departments.

In a recent report, the Auditor General of Canada said:

“…the data collected by many government organizations is either not usable, not used or not acted upon.”

If the long form census data was ever hacked, some of the answers could get a person fired from their job or effect an insurance claim.