Wednesday, August 06, 2014

"Person of Interest": episode "Nothing to Hide" gives a lesson on data brokers and personal privacy


On Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, CBS re-aired an episode called “Nothing to Hide” on its “Person of Interest” show (typical account ). 
  
The episode (originally aired Oct. 1, 2013) has John Reese (James Caviezel, who got pretty torn up in “The Passion of the Christ’) tracking Wayne Kruger (David Alan Basche), an Internet entrepreneur who has founded “Life Trace”, a data broker company that merges people’s “public records” with their social media posts to sell to advertisers, employers, and even governments.  The trouble is, Kruger gets targeted by someone through his own company.

And the enemies get very determined to bring him down. 

The script gives a good lesson in the dangers that people pose for themselves on social media.  The episode is almost a tutorial on how data brokers work. 
  
“Life Trace” reminded me of a company called “Fidelifacts” that used to collect information on people’s private lives back in the 1960s and 1970s.
  
  
Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) is the billionaire software inventor who has focused on “pre-crime” and Reese is the ex-CIA agent he has teamed up with.


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