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Data Tracking: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Data Tracking: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

by Donna MayJuly 9, 2013

We all know how much data a teenager on a monthly billing plan can use. The figures are astronomical. Now multiply that by billions of teenagers and you get some idea of the scale of data that passes through ISP servers daily and this is just considering teenage segmentation of the market.

It’s mind boggling to realize that all recorded data from the dawn of man until 2003 was around 5 billion GB. By 2011, that same amount was created every other day. A Zetabyte is a trillion GB, and we used nearly two of those in 2011. That’s a 1 with 21 zeroes behind it. In 2013, it only takes us about 10 minutes to hit that 5 billion GB threshold.

Assassins Tracked and Captured

In early 2011, U.S. Homeland Security Special Agent Jaime Zapata was ruthlessly gunned down by what was suspected to be the Mexican cartel. Authorities had mountains of data on the cartel, but it was all formatted in different ways–phone, Internet, surveillance. No one had a clear way of tracking down the correct information and decoding it fast enough. That’s where Palantir, a tech company created by PayPal’s team, came to the rescue. They integrated all the data from the different sources and zeroed on in Julian Zapata Espinoza, or Tweety Bird as he was known on the street because of his penchant for dressing in yellow.

Farming Data and Data Farming

Corn and soybean farms are becoming a staple in the Midwest. One of those farmers is Jeff Hodel as covered by media, who has over 6,000 acres of crops. In order to meet the growing demand, he started producing genetically altered seeds to produce a higher yield. DuPont and Monsanto don’t even produce the seeds that Jeff uses.

They only produce the software that helps farmers plant with exact precision each time. The goal is to at least double their yield in the next 15 years. To do this they’re using the data collected by iPad and Android Apps to monitor weather.

More than 22 sets of weather data are monitored 4 times a day to produce accurate forecasts for farmer. With these new advances, when disaster does strike, insurance companies are paying out automatically without having to file claims, because the data is so well documented ahead of time.

Medical Breakthroughs

A growing trend among medical professionals is to coin some special patients as ‘e-patients’ due to the increasing amount of technical hardware implanted in them.

Such e-patients have a cardiac defibrillator implanted in their chest that transmits data back to its manufacturer. This data is provided to the doctor if there’s any problem. But this comes with a moral dilemma. Who owns the information that’s collected?

Does it belong to the patient because they are his vitals? Does it belong to the manufacturer because it’s their defibrillator? Does it belong to the doctor because he commissioned the use of, and implanted, the device?

Facial Recognition

We know about facial recognition software, but do you know it’s being used in the wild? Before this new technology, anthropologists would track characteristics of different animals the old fashioned way. They would study the animal, learn its behaviors and track physical anomalies. But now with Digital Media Technology and their partner Integrated circuits, they can now track their animal subjects by facial recognition software.

This is the same technology used in CSI and other detective shows to track down the bad guys at the last possible second. They’re now tracking down chimps in the Congo and following their social patterns.

[Image Credit: Smart Photo Stock]

Donna is a madia manager at Edictive. Edictive are the leader in online film, TV production management software. You can follow Donna at Edictive on Twitter @edictive

About The Author
Donna May