A Big Top Circus has three main tents. What does this have to do with data? Many things. The Big Three, the Birth index, SSI index, and the Death index determine if you are an American or not. An entry in any one of these indexes is a reason for calling it what ever you want capitalism, freedom, justice, etc… Now if you are listed in all three indexes the privilege is unique. It is the privilege of being sold to the highest corporate bidder.
The inner circle of the tent is where all the circus tricks are performed. Spectators are not allowed. Too dangerous. A great example of this inner ring and government ignorance and disrespect is the Death index. You have to pay to see the whole thing now. A copy of the Death index was purchased for a large sum in 2007 by an individual and put on the Internet for everyone to see. What came out over time is truly shocking.
The high wire act without a net to me is insane and worth the anxiety. The government demands a level of duty to treat its own secrets with diligence and respect yet when it comes to public data forget about it. 20,000 errors were found in the Death Index since it was made public. In other words people that were not dead were mis categorized as dead. Wreaking havoc in their lives and the implications are simply staggering. For a small sample of the foul potential of this kind of manipulation take any voting year if you were dead for a day your vote may not be counted. Then again your relatives might start getting checks from the government. All the elements of an entertaining show.
The guy that puts his head in the lions mouth was always spectacular stunt. The Death index error reveals a great tell for any data scientist. The general reveal is that there is potential data corruption in all three databases. The cost to fix the errors is enormous, tedious and shifts over time. There is potential for more data corruption if any changes invalidate other data dependancies. This is a beginning middle and end pattern and mistakes made at any point ripple through other past dependent reports and data. Its a scar in the data that can hide motive and treachery. The implications for National Security are staggering.
A good general rule is to watch your wallet at the circus. With some 11 Billion data records stolen in 2012-2013 a wise assumption could be that the big three could be involved somehow. Another government secret? If the Big Three were compromised are we all at fault? The big three are key to many things and not just relationships. The horrific down side of exploiting this data is a corporate or international entity could selectively manipulate any industry replacing it with their own. Hmm. What do we pay the government for? This treatment is better than some other countries although arguably not the best in world. There is an implicit level of trust and duty that comes with the labels called government. In true reality it may not be the case.
We all love a good show and we will pay to see one. It is all of OUR data! Its our parents and grand parents children, lovers and fighters. Its your salary, places you have lived and relationships you have made. Its a slice of OUR history together as a nation and it is being sold for large sums of money. The money maybe secondary and it would be nice if it is used for improving the accuracy of the data or making it more secure. Not the case. Or maybe promoting the sanitized use of this data for positive change in medicine, law enforcement, public policy, schools and colleges. Instead it is thrown to the lions. Peanuts for the elephants. Cotton candy anyone?
The story of why the Death index is behind a paywall is left as an exercise to the reader. The Birth index has been manipulated for a long time. Access to the Big Top SSI is allowed to only a privileged few and there is a real show going on there too. The circus is a thing of the past now yet lives on in other forms. Beginning middle and “in the end you and your data get sold out.”
Contact me if you want details, seriously check it out for your self this is for real.