I posted this before under a different title but it actually belongs with the Attack of the Killer Algorithms Chapters as it is nothing more than “algorithms” that do this function. I am not talking about taxing companies who use information internally to make browsers better and so forth at all. This would only apply when a “for sale” shingle goes up. The original post is below and this is a compilation of a lot of the information carried in that post.
The Alternative Millionaire’s Tax–License and Tax Big Corporations Who Mine and Sell Taxpayer Data They Get for Free From the Internet-Phase One to Restore Middle Class With Transparency, Disclosure and Money
Why is it that when I go to buy a tire I have to pay a Federal Excise tax on something I need to drive a car but yet the big corporate companies in the US go scot free when it comes to mining and scraping our data off the web for huge profits?
I don’t like additional government regulation like the rest of us out there, but this is out of hand today and leads to some steroid marketing that is also out of hand, especially in healthcare, so why not register and start taxing it. Again having the availability for the consumer to look up and see who is registered and who they sell to would be a start in the right direction with transparency efforts today.
The Opt Out bill is also not out of the question but it all depends on how the bill gets worded and if there are any enforcements available which I have seen none.
Some big companies may not have a problem with this as they have publicly said they would pay higher taxes and this seems to be a potential model here as it’s not working with income tax so why not structure this more like a “sales tax”.
In addition it would give law enforcement cyber cops a leg to stand on to squash some of this if they sell without a license or fail to make a public disclosure on a government website which would need to be updated so we all can really what’s going on.
They just write a few algorithms and go town making millions, again while we pay that excise tax on our tires we need and the treads are wearing thin. In the area of public information made available by states, they already do license the mining bots and it is a ridiculously low amount of money only to have to come back and put software in place to keep the bots out as servers slow down to a crawl as the bots keep multiplying like rabbits.
In North Carolina recently they kicked out the mining license of CoreLogic as they too had slow servers and some of the mining companies don’t pay up for quarterly updates, which means even a bigger mess for you and I as the flawed data keeps going around and around and around. I think this was the case with CoreLogic if I remember correctly, they didn’t update so the state yanked the license so licenses to mine are not a new thing, just need to be federal, publicly disclosed and last of all, taxed.
CoreLogic has formed a partnership with FICO who is already in the process of selling algorithms with mismatched data which connects public information about you and combines it with your credit score to tell if you as a medical patient will take your prescriptions. Somebody needs to start calling some of these folks on “mis matched data” the discriminates as now we have “Discrimination by the Algorithm” and it’s showing in more places all the time. Last time I wrote about the FICO mismatched data it all ended up over at the Daily Kos via another publisher as an awareness.
FICO Analytics Press Release Marketing Credit Scoring Algorithms to Predict Medication Adherence–Update (Opinion)
We all know by now that math is no longer the 100% methodology for determining accuracy in all cases when it is spun with algorithms and marketing today and that’s a fact. In addition we have a lot of “flawed” data spun into some of the algorithms and this leads us to a point of insanity sometimes when we look and say “where did they get those numbers”. You hear it all the time. If you don’t get this on how algorithms spin and flaw data use the link below and get educated from an NYU professor/journalist/mathematician.
“Numbers Don’t Lie, But People Do”–Radio Interview from Charles Siefe–Journalists Take Note, He Addresses How Marketing And Bogus Statistics Are Sources of Problems That Mislead the Public & Government
Second of all a listing of all sources of companies, etc that a registered company sells to would be helpful as well so at least Jane Doe knows where the data goes. This would be up to the “reseller”, like that word as that is what it is, to maintain an update. Again with transparency the public should know who’s collecting data and where it goes and a user’s fee for each entity they sell too would be required. This is just like having a server with “CAL” licenses and that concept has been around for a long time, just a little different and all of this would be public record.
There would also need to be a “non profit” area to where they would pay for a non profit license and then still be required to list their sources to where they share data, such as a University sharing for research and development as the Science folks are sharing data to find cures mostly and not to market, but again have the license displayed and the disclosure of who they share with as well as what kind of information is shared, anonymous data or data to where actual information is used with HIPAA compliant information.
We all know about Facebook and the millions they make by selling data and insurers do the same thing with prescription data, and Walgreens said their data selling business is valued just under $800 million which makes one wonder if filling prescriptions is becoming a side business to collect the data? Their SEC statement showed for 2010 over $700 million worth of income from data sales. Pharmacies need to fill scripts to collect data and some of this probably gets internally profiled with whatever else you buy there, a six pack of sodas, candy bars, hair color and so on. This is just one company so how much money is laying on those “profit” tables? A lot.
Another good reason to give this some serious thought is that now High Frequency Traders and Hedge Funds are also selling our data at a pace that was said to outpace Facebook. These are those folks that have free access to all our taxpayer data floating around out there and they will continue to profit even bigger, so again why not give something back to the taxpayers.
You can’t write laws around this stuff to govern who can write what type of code or algorithms, but you can sure follow a data trail and return some money back to the 99%. Our digitally illiterate Congress is still stumbling around with this and they don’t get it at all as so many are what I call the “non participants” when it comes to consumer IT.
“The amount of market data high frequency traders are using as trading indicators continues to grow more rapidly than Facebook can add users or change its privacy policies, and vendors are scrambling to offer new technology that can help firms - and algos - find the data, sort it and leverage it. “
I'm not saying stop the selling but put a healthy license requirement out there and some stealth taxes to start shifting the money back around as otherwise nothing will happen to redistribute the wealth in the US. Congress can’t seem to get past income taxes for this model and I say we need a new on to make this work. If you don’t understand this concept and data mining, watch this video from Stanford at the link below and see what’s being scraped and sold, it’s all you and I and again we still have to pay that excise tax for tires so doesn’t look very equal out there does it?
You Are the Product–Privacy Anonymity and Net Neutrality On the Internet - Excellent Stanford University Lecture (Video)
You know now we have the Corzine testimonies going on and how little math did he know? What can machine learning do for a hedge fund, ask John Corzine with his ignorance and bliss as someone has to direct the programmers on how to make everything function, it’s those algorithms. If you watch the market a company called Nanex babysits the exchanges every day and tell us about rogue algorithms and quote stuffing.
Here’s what has been circulating around the web when it comes to digital literacy with lawmakers, picture is worth a 1000 words.
Digital Illiteracy Still Plagues Law Makers–Severe Focus on Abortion Rights Proves It–Is This Where Our Lawmaking Knowledge Leaves Off or Even Begins? Scary…
So the next time you are out there buying that tire to keep your car rolling, give this some thought on the millions and billions being made by corporate US today from the “free taxpayer data” they mind and scrape for free and all the money they make off the backs of taxpayers, and this should be a way of corporations giving some of it back and would add some real transparency as we don’t know what all they are selling and to who?
Those Algorithms have big teeth!
This truly is the Attack of the Killer Algorithms taking place all around us. Back in August of 2009 I pondered the question of whether or not we might need an official US government branch to help us out and so far, nothing has been done and much of that again comes back to a digital illiterate Congress who can’t get their heads around how technology works today.
For you folks addicted to gaming on the web, well you just keep making corporate America richer,and this is a fact so the greater your addiction and time them more money corporations make off your back. Chapter 6 has some additional details on some other Killer Algorithms.