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Book Chapter

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privacy, Big Data, Bloomberg Terminal


Big Data has not one privacy problem, but two. We are accustomed to talking about surveillance of data subjects. But Big Data also enables disconcertingly close surveillance of its users. The questions we ask of Big Data can be intensely revealing, but, paradoxically, protecting subjects' privacy can require spying on users. Big Data is an ideology of technology, used to justify the centralization of information and power in data barons, pushing both subjects and users into a kind of feudal subordination. This short and polemical essay uses the Bloomberg Terminal scandal as a window to illuminate Big Data's other privacy problem.


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