Could Big Data and IP video uncover clues on Boston Marathon bombings?

Former national security analyst speculates.

Writing in USA Today, former national security analyst Scott Sigmund Gartner speculates on how Big Data (specifically, IP-based security and personal video) could be used to uncover clues on the Boston Marathon bombings.

"The lack of privacy in American big cities and at major public events is concerning," admits Sigmund Gartner. While owning up to the truth that by "analyzing trillions of images and data points, big data does more than threaten our privacy, it creates such detailed individual-level profiles that it literally strips us naked, exposing our values and desires to information's highest bidder," the analyst, who is currently a professor at Penn State's School of International Affairs and Dickinson School of Law, contends that "in this case, the same technology that reveals our shopping patterns and likely friends on Facebook may come through and help to expose a killer."

[Ed. note . -- It
must come through -- if not, what is the point of this technology?]

The editorial goes on to place stock in recognition of big data's "positive side" -- noting how "by feeding thousands of cell phone, media and security camera video into massive computers capable of sorting faces, times and locations...authorities [will] put together a comprehensive picture of the comings and goings on Boylston Street."

"Crunching an unimaginable amount of data through social network, facial recognition, geographical information systems and other analytical algorithms...will reveal who seems to be there for the race, for business, or possibly for evil intent," continues the piece.

Full story:Big data could uncover clue on marathon: Column (

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