The Privacy Coalition

The Privacy Coalition is a nonpartisan coalition of consumer, civil liberties, educational, family, library, labor, and technology organizations that have agreed to the Privacy Pledge. The organization formed in February 2001. View a list of member organizations.

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DOD Recruitment Database

FAQ: Data Mining

What is data-mining?

Data-mining are methods used to extract knowledge from large amounts of information.

How does data-mining work?

While the methods of data mining can vary the components are data input, data analysis, and the results. This does not mean that the information used for data-mining purposes is accurate nor does it mean that those who use data-mining only have good intentions.

Who uses data-mining?

Many government agencies and private businesses use data-mining. The data broker industry, which uses data-mining routinely, sells the personal information of consumers to anyone with the money to buy it. Their clients also include federal government agencies. The Department of Defense (DOD) planed to use data-mining when they attempted to create the Total Information Awareness project, which Congress ended when the program was brought to the public's attention. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies planed to create a data-mining project called MATRIX, but was unsuccessful when few states were willing to support the project, once it became publicly known.

Why would someone use data-mining?

Private businesses use data-mining to attempt to better market products to consumers or screen for customers who may be more open to making purchases when certain sells tactics are used. The federal government has used data-mining as a means of searching for criminals or those suspected of crimes.

How will the DOD use data-mining?

The DOD will most likely use both pattern-based and subject-based data-mining methods. Pattern based data-mining methods search for information based on matches or departures from desired pattern. The information may include those who like to play combat related video games, intend to seek certain college degrees, or attend trade schools. Subject-base data-mining methods would look for information on a particular person. The information used might include their name, school, address, zip code, age, race, gender, grade point average, and graduation date.


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Relevant Blogs and Other Links

Organizations Concerned about the Database and Military Recruiting