One of the interesting effects of the abilities of big data has been the gradual, and probably unintentional, replacement of reviews and critiques by experts by aggregated data from people who may or may not have any particular expertise in whatever field they’re reviewing. This is problematic if we treat these these reviews if they’re telling us the same sort of thing that the experts are saying. Not only are they not the same thing, but the goals are entirely different.
Those that have followed the news over the last couple weeks are familiar with the the fight – currently on hiatus – between the FBI and Apple Computer. 1 For those that haven’t, here’s a brief summary of the events:
- The FBI discovers an iPhone belonging to Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino attack in December of 2015.
- The FBI asked for Apple’s help unlocking this iPhone by writing software that would allow them to bypass the encryption on it.
- Apple said no.
- The FBI said never mind, that they had been able to unlock it by using some sort of solution from a yet unnamed third party.
That’s where we are now.
- Like quite a few fights lately, it has to do with the relationship between liberty and security: I believe that Ben Franklin has a quote about that. ↩