Read: The End of Big Data: space weapons, UN inspectors and personal data

James "New Aesthetic" Bridle writes, "I wrote an SF short story about satellites, space weapons, UN inspectors, and the end of personal data! I hope you like it."

I always have time for whatever Bridle is up to.

I haven’t always done this kind of work, but it feels like I was trained for it. I got pulled into the late-stage drone surge over the Middle East straight out of college: my rankings on Steam triggered at least three different military recruiting bots, each of which thought I was suited to long-range recon work, although they disagreed on which service I should apply for. In the end I found myself working a console at Camp Thunder Cove, classifying blast radii from Russian and Israeli munitions on the borders of the Caliphate, still not entirely clear which service was using the data, but keeping my metrics up anyway. Then the crash happened, and all that time I’d put in, pre-service, crunching Voronoi space for dollar vans—which I’d naively thought the govbots didn’t know about—suddenly became interesting to UNDATA.

First I heard about the crash was when every single data controller I’d touched started pinging me over and over again for a password reset or two-factor auth. Like pretty much everyone else. My phone was unusable for hours, and then the networks just—shut down. It took weeks to get back online, but luckily or otherwise I was still under army rule, so we just got on with the business of sandbagging and digging latrines for the smart grid refugees who couldn’t get back into their apartments. Everyone else just stayed close to home, paid cash, and watched TV. There were a lot of opinions to watch.

The End of Big Data [James Bridle/Motherboard]