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August 10, 2022

It’s Time We Ring the Alarm: What Do the Bigwigs Do With Our Data?

It’s Time We Ring the Alarm: What Do the Bigwigs Do With Our Data?

SHARE: 
BY: TARTLE

One petabyte of information is equal to 500 billion pages of standard printed text.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), the EU’s watchdog, has made a shocking discovery: Europol has a data cache that’s at least four petabytes, filled with sensitive personal information that was unlawfully collected and held.

Join Alexander and Jason as they discuss Europol’s massive, controversial data cache–and the disturbing implications of the institution’s actions.

They’re Watching You

Have you ever given a second thought about what it means to turn on your smartphone’s Location setting? Or what would happen if you clicked on Accept All Cookies whenever you entered a new website? 

Since most of us live as creatures of habit, our small decisions to use these settings and forget about them can have a big impact. Without your informed consent, they could plot out your entire schedule. Your favorite places to eat and hang out, the gym you go to, your workplace.  Everything can be accessed and filed away.

Europol is primed to become the center of machine learning and AI in policing. And yet, the bloc’s watchdog has uncovered a dark truth: that they have been unlawfully storing information secondary or tertiary to their investigations. Hacked data from encrypted phone services and information from asylum seekers who were never involved in any crime have been stowed away without the full, informed consent of those involved.

Nobody is Safe

It’s true: we need to trust that our government institutions have our best interests at heart. But if they can’t even be upfront about the amount of information they have on their citizens, then that leaves so much room for misuse and manipulation.

In this episode, Jason narrates the story of Frank van der Linde. Van der Linde, a political activist, was placed on a terror watchlist in his native Netherlands and later removed. However, he had moved to Berlin before the removal and this prompted the Dutch police to share his data with their German counterparts and Europol.

After discovering this, he attempted to have his personal data removed from any international databases. But Europol told him that they had nothing he was “entitled to have access to.”

Van der Linde’s situation is a wake-up call to the harms associated with a lack of transparency. Behind his back, Europol shared his personal information with the German police. In the name of public security, it’s possible for police to share data with other police in other countries. But why is it so difficult to share this data with us? How quickly can we get persecuted for speaking truth to power?

Your data is worth your life. Entrust your personal information to platforms that know how to treat it with dignity and respect.

Sign up for TARTLE through this link here.

Follow Alexander McCaig on Twitter and Linkedin.

Feature Image Credit: Envato Image
FOLLOW @TARTLE_OFFICIAL

For those who are hard of hearing – the episode transcript can be read below:

TRANSCRIPT

Alexander McCaig (00:11):

Europol, Europol. Let's talk about what they've been doing.

Jason Rigby (00:16):

They have a black hole.

Alexander McCaig (00:18):

Yeah. Europol has a black hole.

Jason Rigby (00:21):

In data. The guardian.com latest news just came out today. January the 10th is today. A member of the cyber crime center in a lab at Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, EU police body accused of unlawfully holding information aspiring to come an NSA style mass surveillance agency.

Alexander McCaig (00:41):

Check this out. When Europol investigates crimes, there's also, everything's interconnected.

Jason Rigby (00:51):

Yes.

Alexander McCaig (00:52):

But anything that was secondary or tertiary to the crime, they were keeping all of that data, unlawfully. Like not even the data on the criminals themselves, but anybody that they had scanned their phones before, it doesn't matter what it was.

Jason Rigby (01:06):

Yes.

Alexander McCaig (01:07):

They kept all of it. So what happened?

Jason Rigby (01:09):

Well, they said, I mean, to clarify that, they said this is a big data arc. It contains billions of points of information. Sensitive data in the arc have been drawn from crime reports, hacked from encrypted phone services, and sampled from asylum seekers never involved in any crime. According to internal documents seen by The Guardian, so they were doing some investigation here...

Alexander McCaig (01:26):

Juicy.

Jason Rigby (01:26):

... Europol's cache contains at least four petabytes, four petabytes.

Alexander McCaig (01:32):

Wow. That's huge.

Jason Rigby (01:34):

How big is a petabyte?

Alexander McCaig (01:34):

It's 1000 terabytes, I believe.

Jason Rigby (01:39):

Okay. Here's the equivalent of it. Equivalent to three million CD ROMs are a fifth of the entire continents of the US Library of Congress.

Alexander McCaig (01:48):

Yeah. So...

Jason Rigby (01:50):

That's a lot of data.

Alexander McCaig (01:50):

It's just a lot.

Jason Rigby (01:51):

Data protection advocates say the volume information held on Europol's systems amount to [inaudible 00:01:56] a step on its road to become a European counterpart to the US National Security Agency, the NSA, because we've got...

Alexander McCaig (02:01):

Oh, wait a minute!

Jason Rigby (02:01):

... issues here.

Alexander McCaig (02:02):

The NSA does that right now.

Jason Rigby (02:05):

Because we know what? Edward Snowden...

Alexander McCaig (02:07):

Yeah.

Jason Rigby (02:07):

... the whistleblower, released on the NSA among the quadrillions of bites held are sensitive data on at least a quarter of a million current or former terror and serious crime suspects and a multitude of other people with whom they came into contact.

Alexander McCaig (02:19):

See, that's the point.

Jason Rigby (02:20):

That's the point.

Alexander McCaig (02:20):

It's not even the criminal anymore. We're going to just... Everybody under the sun, we're just going to take that data. We're just going to keep on analyzing. We're going to use it against people.

Jason Rigby (02:28):

They went to a Middle Eastern restaurant in France and three other people gone to that restaurant. So we're going to keep all the information of whoever that goes to that restaurant.

Alexander McCaig (02:38):

Do you know how many times I've been to a restaurant that's probably run by the mob?

Jason Rigby (02:40):

Oh yeah.

Alexander McCaig (02:41):

When I was on East Coast, like New York City, Long Island, anything like that? Like what? So you're just going to hold my data in your little black hole? Probably. Anytime I do Google search, NSA's like, "Juicy."

Jason Rigby (02:51):

Yeah, "Juicy." Google and the NSA. Hmm. The Watchdog ordered Europol to erase data health for more than six months and gave it a year to sort out what could be lawfully kept. So the confirmation pits to the EU data protection Watchdog against a powerful security agency. This is, they said, being primed to become the center. Europol is primed to become the center of machine learning and AI in policing.

Alexander McCaig (03:12):

Yeah. You want to know why? Because they're just ripping all this data off people without their consent, tracking them. Obviously, they're going to be able to feed a model and it's just going to be a model for control. It reminds me of... It's going to get so good. It's like borderline Minority Report.

Jason Rigby (03:27):

Yeah. That's what it's going to be.

Alexander McCaig (03:28):

[inaudible 00:03:28] know what's going to happen ahead of time.

Jason Rigby (03:29):

Yeah. I know what's going to happen ahead of time. If you get enough data points, you can predict that.

Alexander McCaig (03:33):

I know this person interacted with them. Yeah. We're going to go arrest them before a crime occurs.

Jason Rigby (03:37):

I mean, that's what's so beautiful about marketing in the same way is because people go the same restaurants. If they go to the gym, the same gym or the same yoga place. Then you get a combination of other three people, "Oh, they go to Lululemon. They go to The Yoga place. They go get their Starbucks, and then they..." People do the same thing over and over again. So it's easy to predict their patterns.

Alexander McCaig (03:53):

Yeah.

Jason Rigby (03:53):

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, they have a trainer at The Yoga Place, so they go...

Alexander McCaig (03:57):

They never told you, you could look at their patterns. They never told you, you could do that sort of analysis.

Jason Rigby (04:01):

Yes.

Alexander McCaig (04:01):

You were never opted into it. There was no consent. There was no idea of how that information on the person's life was being used.

Jason Rigby (04:07):

So Europol, let's say their response. Are you ready?

Alexander McCaig (04:11):

Yeah, go ahead. Give it to me.

Jason Rigby (04:12):

Europol denies any wrongdoing.

Alexander McCaig (04:14):

Of course.

Jason Rigby (04:14):

They said the Watchdog may be interpreting the current rules in an impractical way. The Europol...

Alexander McCaig (04:21):

They're just upset.

Jason Rigby (04:22):

Yes, pissed off. The Europol regulation was not intended by the legislator as a requirement, which is impossibly met by the data controller Europol in practice. Europol has worked with the EDPS to find a balance between keeping the EU secure and its citizen safe, security and safety, once again, we talk about this all the time, while adhering to the highest standards of data production. They say they're adhering to the highest standards of data product.

Alexander McCaig (04:46):

How can you tell me you're adhering to the highest standards if you're robbing the data from the people and they don't even know it? How do you adhere to any protection if you can't even protect the basic principle of property right?

Jason Rigby (04:57):

Yes.

Alexander McCaig (04:58):

Get the hell out of here.

Jason Rigby (05:00):

Europol has, of course, been pushed as a solution to terrorism in Europe. So this is the whole idea.

Alexander McCaig (05:06):

You can't keep using that damn excuse.

Jason Rigby (05:07):

No.

Alexander McCaig (05:09):

How long are you going to keep just whitewashing all that stuff?

Jason Rigby (05:13):

But they said that, Europe said that these countries have been pushing them and encouraging them to harvest data on multiple fronts.

Alexander McCaig (05:20):

Of course. Yeah. Who's doing the encouragement? Who's telling you to harvest? I'm glad you're harvesting things, but there are human beings on the other side. I realize you're trying to do the right thing here, but just tell people, "Hey, we collect all this information. I just want to make you aware." "Thanks."

Jason Rigby (05:39):

Well, here's the part that gets sketchy. So there was this one political activist. He was just a political activist. Wasn't a terrorist, wasn't anything. He had a serious run in with police because he broke a window, he's committing a crime, he needs to be punished for that, to gain entrance into a building and he created a squat for homeless people, being a political activist.

Alexander McCaig (05:57):

Okay.

Jason Rigby (05:58):

Well, in the Dutch watch list, he was removed because they labeled him as a terrorist, which he wasn't. He was just a political activist. So they removed him in 2019.

Alexander McCaig (06:06):

Okay.

Jason Rigby (06:07):

[inaudible 00:06:07] removed him out of this. But a year, he had moved to Berlin, which prompted the Dutch police to share the data with German counterparts and Europol. So he...

Alexander McCaig (06:20):

Wait a minute. So just because you move...

Jason Rigby (06:23):

Right.

Alexander McCaig (06:24):

... and you're not a terrorist, people are like, "Wow, we'll still share the data on you regardless of these other authorities so they can track you when you're in their country."

Jason Rigby (06:31):

So he began doing some digging.

Alexander McCaig (06:32):

This is interesting.

Jason Rigby (06:33):

Yeah. He went to Amsterdam City Hall and there were some declassified files and he did some searching on that and he found his name in there and that he was a terrorist in Europol in the declassified [inaudible 00:06:45]. So it's like to get his personal data removed, he went to Europol and he was like, "Hey, yeah, I did have a police run in with this or whatever, but I'm not a terrorist. I'm a political activist," and saying that it had... So when he asked to get it removed, what he received was, this is what it said, "Entitled to have access to." He wasn't entitled to have access to his data. So what they're saying here, because this is going to... I'm going to tee you up. They're saying how easy it is for the police to share data with other police in other countries...

Alexander McCaig (07:26):

But they can't share with you.

Jason Rigby (07:26):

... how seamless, because it went to Berlin, Amsterdam, and where he was originally from.

Alexander McCaig (07:33):

Yeah. Netherlands or whatever.

Jason Rigby (07:33):

Then yeah. So it went through all these countries, very easily be sharing local police departments...

Alexander McCaig (07:40):

But they can't give it to him. The guy who the information is on...

Jason Rigby (07:40):

... but he asked for his own data and he's not a terrorist.

Alexander McCaig (07:43):

Sounds pretty hypocritical.

Jason Rigby (07:44):

I mean, if you're a terrorist, I get it.

Alexander McCaig (07:46):

It sounds like a pretty strong control mechanism. It's just... You know what it is? You know what it boils down to, Jason? This is what it boils down to. It's not right. It's not balanced. It's not fair. It's not transparent. It's an abuse of power. It's wrong. It's just wrong.

Jason Rigby (08:11):

Well, you're going against somebody's free will, one.

Alexander McCaig (08:12):

Yeah.

Jason Rigby (08:12):

Number two, you're putting them on a terrorist list, a watch list. So if he goes...

Alexander McCaig (08:17):

No, no, you know what? I bet you their algorithm put him on a terrorist watch list.

Jason Rigby (08:17):

Yeah, an algorithm did. Yeah.

Alexander McCaig (08:17):

Yeah.

Jason Rigby (08:21):

Then to get him taken off, even though he's submitted all the information, he's still not off. He submitted all the information from the Dutch police saying that he wasn't.

Alexander McCaig (08:29):

You know what that does to somebody's life though?

Jason Rigby (08:31):

Everywhere, every country you go to. I mean, people, in Europe, you go all around. You've been there. We've all been there.

Alexander McCaig (08:35):

Yep.

Jason Rigby (08:35):

You can go from country to country. You can hop on a... Hopping on a train, you get stopped at a border, you show your passport, "Uh-oh. He's on a list. Let's put him in a room, interrogate him for two hours." They don't know. As a police officer, you're not going to know. This guy is tagged as a terrorist.

Alexander McCaig (08:50):

What's he going to say? "I'm not an effing terrorist." They're like, "Yes, you are. Europol says you are." He's like, "That's crap." Then what? You're going to have a conversation about data rights and data systems?

Jason Rigby (09:00):

That's not going to work.

Alexander McCaig (09:01):

That's never going to work.

Jason Rigby (09:01):

They're not going to hear. They hear everything. These police are going to contain you, hold you.

Alexander McCaig (09:05):

It's ass backwards.

Jason Rigby (09:06):

So then now, you've got to against his free will. He can't even go to a different country.

Alexander McCaig (09:09):

No, and then you restrict people's freedom of movement. This is where it goes south. So while Europol's saying they didn't do anything wrong, they are so far off the Richter scale on wrong, it's almost astonishing and I'm glad they got called out for it. That's absurd. It's totally effing absurd. We don't need to live in a world where it's hard enough to get from point A to point B, just with everything we do in a regular day. Now, someone is going to inhibit us because of a digital footprint that is being wrongly associated with a certain algorithm or group. Then that's going to restrict me there even further. So that means everything I interact with, which is inherently digital, I'm not even going to be able to even use. So society, at that point, I can't even interact with it. Think about it. It's wrong. It's just wrong.

Jason Rigby (10:00):

Yeah.

Alexander McCaig (10:00):

It's messed up.

Jason Rigby (10:01):

Yes.

Alexander McCaig (10:02):

It's not good for human evolution, not one iota of it. It does not help human understanding, nothing. And so, yeah. Frankly, I'm glad they called out. Absolutely. Totally absurd. Thanks.

 

August 10, 2022

It’s Time We Ring the Alarm: What Do the Bigwigs Do With Our Data?

It’s Time We Ring the Alarm: What Do the Bigwigs Do With Our Data?

SHARE: 
BY: TARTLE

One petabyte of information is equal to 500 billion pages of standard printed text.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), the EU’s watchdog, has made a shocking discovery: Europol has a data cache that’s at least four petabytes, filled with sensitive personal information that was unlawfully collected and held.

Join Alexander and Jason as they discuss Europol’s massive, controversial data cache–and the disturbing implications of the institution’s actions.

They’re Watching You

Have you ever given a second thought about what it means to turn on your smartphone’s Location setting? Or what would happen if you clicked on Accept All Cookies whenever you entered a new website? 

Since most of us live as creatures of habit, our small decisions to use these settings and forget about them can have a big impact. Without your informed consent, they could plot out your entire schedule. Your favorite places to eat and hang out, the gym you go to, your workplace.  Everything can be accessed and filed away.

Europol is primed to become the center of machine learning and AI in policing. And yet, the bloc’s watchdog has uncovered a dark truth: that they have been unlawfully storing information secondary or tertiary to their investigations. Hacked data from encrypted phone services and information from asylum seekers who were never involved in any crime have been stowed away without the full, informed consent of those involved.

Nobody is Safe

It’s true: we need to trust that our government institutions have our best interests at heart. But if they can’t even be upfront about the amount of information they have on their citizens, then that leaves so much room for misuse and manipulation.

In this episode, Jason narrates the story of Frank van der Linde. Van der Linde, a political activist, was placed on a terror watchlist in his native Netherlands and later removed. However, he had moved to Berlin before the removal and this prompted the Dutch police to share his data with their German counterparts and Europol.

After discovering this, he attempted to have his personal data removed from any international databases. But Europol told him that they had nothing he was “entitled to have access to.”

Van der Linde’s situation is a wake-up call to the harms associated with a lack of transparency. Behind his back, Europol shared his personal information with the German police. In the name of public security, it’s possible for police to share data with other police in other countries. But why is it so difficult to share this data with us? How quickly can we get persecuted for speaking truth to power?

Your data is worth your life. Entrust your personal information to platforms that know how to treat it with dignity and respect.

Sign up for TARTLE through this link here.

Follow Alexander McCaig on Twitter and Linkedin.

Feature Image Credit: Envato Image
FOLLOW @TARTLE_OFFICIAL

For those who are hard of hearing – the episode transcript can be read below:

TRANSCRIPT

Alexander McCaig (00:11):

Europol, Europol. Let's talk about what they've been doing.

Jason Rigby (00:16):

They have a black hole.

Alexander McCaig (00:18):

Yeah. Europol has a black hole.

Jason Rigby (00:21):

In data. The guardian.com latest news just came out today. January the 10th is today. A member of the cyber crime center in a lab at Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, EU police body accused of unlawfully holding information aspiring to come an NSA style mass surveillance agency.

Alexander McCaig (00:41):

Check this out. When Europol investigates crimes, there's also, everything's interconnected.

Jason Rigby (00:51):

Yes.

Alexander McCaig (00:52):

But anything that was secondary or tertiary to the crime, they were keeping all of that data, unlawfully. Like not even the data on the criminals themselves, but anybody that they had scanned their phones before, it doesn't matter what it was.

Jason Rigby (01:06):

Yes.

Alexander McCaig (01:07):

They kept all of it. So what happened?

Jason Rigby (01:09):

Well, they said, I mean, to clarify that, they said this is a big data arc. It contains billions of points of information. Sensitive data in the arc have been drawn from crime reports, hacked from encrypted phone services, and sampled from asylum seekers never involved in any crime. According to internal documents seen by The Guardian, so they were doing some investigation here...

Alexander McCaig (01:26):

Juicy.

Jason Rigby (01:26):

... Europol's cache contains at least four petabytes, four petabytes.

Alexander McCaig (01:32):

Wow. That's huge.

Jason Rigby (01:34):

How big is a petabyte?

Alexander McCaig (01:34):

It's 1000 terabytes, I believe.

Jason Rigby (01:39):

Okay. Here's the equivalent of it. Equivalent to three million CD ROMs are a fifth of the entire continents of the US Library of Congress.

Alexander McCaig (01:48):

Yeah. So...

Jason Rigby (01:50):

That's a lot of data.

Alexander McCaig (01:50):

It's just a lot.

Jason Rigby (01:51):

Data protection advocates say the volume information held on Europol's systems amount to [inaudible 00:01:56] a step on its road to become a European counterpart to the US National Security Agency, the NSA, because we've got...

Alexander McCaig (02:01):

Oh, wait a minute!

Jason Rigby (02:01):

... issues here.

Alexander McCaig (02:02):

The NSA does that right now.

Jason Rigby (02:05):

Because we know what? Edward Snowden...

Alexander McCaig (02:07):

Yeah.

Jason Rigby (02:07):

... the whistleblower, released on the NSA among the quadrillions of bites held are sensitive data on at least a quarter of a million current or former terror and serious crime suspects and a multitude of other people with whom they came into contact.

Alexander McCaig (02:19):

See, that's the point.

Jason Rigby (02:20):

That's the point.

Alexander McCaig (02:20):

It's not even the criminal anymore. We're going to just... Everybody under the sun, we're just going to take that data. We're just going to keep on analyzing. We're going to use it against people.

Jason Rigby (02:28):

They went to a Middle Eastern restaurant in France and three other people gone to that restaurant. So we're going to keep all the information of whoever that goes to that restaurant.

Alexander McCaig (02:38):

Do you know how many times I've been to a restaurant that's probably run by the mob?

Jason Rigby (02:40):

Oh yeah.

Alexander McCaig (02:41):

When I was on East Coast, like New York City, Long Island, anything like that? Like what? So you're just going to hold my data in your little black hole? Probably. Anytime I do Google search, NSA's like, "Juicy."

Jason Rigby (02:51):

Yeah, "Juicy." Google and the NSA. Hmm. The Watchdog ordered Europol to erase data health for more than six months and gave it a year to sort out what could be lawfully kept. So the confirmation pits to the EU data protection Watchdog against a powerful security agency. This is, they said, being primed to become the center. Europol is primed to become the center of machine learning and AI in policing.

Alexander McCaig (03:12):

Yeah. You want to know why? Because they're just ripping all this data off people without their consent, tracking them. Obviously, they're going to be able to feed a model and it's just going to be a model for control. It reminds me of... It's going to get so good. It's like borderline Minority Report.

Jason Rigby (03:27):

Yeah. That's what it's going to be.

Alexander McCaig (03:28):

[inaudible 00:03:28] know what's going to happen ahead of time.

Jason Rigby (03:29):

Yeah. I know what's going to happen ahead of time. If you get enough data points, you can predict that.

Alexander McCaig (03:33):

I know this person interacted with them. Yeah. We're going to go arrest them before a crime occurs.

Jason Rigby (03:37):

I mean, that's what's so beautiful about marketing in the same way is because people go the same restaurants. If they go to the gym, the same gym or the same yoga place. Then you get a combination of other three people, "Oh, they go to Lululemon. They go to The Yoga place. They go get their Starbucks, and then they..." People do the same thing over and over again. So it's easy to predict their patterns.

Alexander McCaig (03:53):

Yeah.

Jason Rigby (03:53):

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, they have a trainer at The Yoga Place, so they go...

Alexander McCaig (03:57):

They never told you, you could look at their patterns. They never told you, you could do that sort of analysis.

Jason Rigby (04:01):

Yes.

Alexander McCaig (04:01):

You were never opted into it. There was no consent. There was no idea of how that information on the person's life was being used.

Jason Rigby (04:07):

So Europol, let's say their response. Are you ready?

Alexander McCaig (04:11):

Yeah, go ahead. Give it to me.

Jason Rigby (04:12):

Europol denies any wrongdoing.

Alexander McCaig (04:14):

Of course.

Jason Rigby (04:14):

They said the Watchdog may be interpreting the current rules in an impractical way. The Europol...

Alexander McCaig (04:21):

They're just upset.

Jason Rigby (04:22):

Yes, pissed off. The Europol regulation was not intended by the legislator as a requirement, which is impossibly met by the data controller Europol in practice. Europol has worked with the EDPS to find a balance between keeping the EU secure and its citizen safe, security and safety, once again, we talk about this all the time, while adhering to the highest standards of data production. They say they're adhering to the highest standards of data product.

Alexander McCaig (04:46):

How can you tell me you're adhering to the highest standards if you're robbing the data from the people and they don't even know it? How do you adhere to any protection if you can't even protect the basic principle of property right?

Jason Rigby (04:57):

Yes.

Alexander McCaig (04:58):

Get the hell out of here.

Jason Rigby (05:00):

Europol has, of course, been pushed as a solution to terrorism in Europe. So this is the whole idea.

Alexander McCaig (05:06):

You can't keep using that damn excuse.

Jason Rigby (05:07):

No.

Alexander McCaig (05:09):

How long are you going to keep just whitewashing all that stuff?

Jason Rigby (05:13):

But they said that, Europe said that these countries have been pushing them and encouraging them to harvest data on multiple fronts.

Alexander McCaig (05:20):

Of course. Yeah. Who's doing the encouragement? Who's telling you to harvest? I'm glad you're harvesting things, but there are human beings on the other side. I realize you're trying to do the right thing here, but just tell people, "Hey, we collect all this information. I just want to make you aware." "Thanks."

Jason Rigby (05:39):

Well, here's the part that gets sketchy. So there was this one political activist. He was just a political activist. Wasn't a terrorist, wasn't anything. He had a serious run in with police because he broke a window, he's committing a crime, he needs to be punished for that, to gain entrance into a building and he created a squat for homeless people, being a political activist.

Alexander McCaig (05:57):

Okay.

Jason Rigby (05:58):

Well, in the Dutch watch list, he was removed because they labeled him as a terrorist, which he wasn't. He was just a political activist. So they removed him in 2019.

Alexander McCaig (06:06):

Okay.

Jason Rigby (06:07):

[inaudible 00:06:07] removed him out of this. But a year, he had moved to Berlin, which prompted the Dutch police to share the data with German counterparts and Europol. So he...

Alexander McCaig (06:20):

Wait a minute. So just because you move...

Jason Rigby (06:23):

Right.

Alexander McCaig (06:24):

... and you're not a terrorist, people are like, "Wow, we'll still share the data on you regardless of these other authorities so they can track you when you're in their country."

Jason Rigby (06:31):

So he began doing some digging.

Alexander McCaig (06:32):

This is interesting.

Jason Rigby (06:33):

Yeah. He went to Amsterdam City Hall and there were some declassified files and he did some searching on that and he found his name in there and that he was a terrorist in Europol in the declassified [inaudible 00:06:45]. So it's like to get his personal data removed, he went to Europol and he was like, "Hey, yeah, I did have a police run in with this or whatever, but I'm not a terrorist. I'm a political activist," and saying that it had... So when he asked to get it removed, what he received was, this is what it said, "Entitled to have access to." He wasn't entitled to have access to his data. So what they're saying here, because this is going to... I'm going to tee you up. They're saying how easy it is for the police to share data with other police in other countries...

Alexander McCaig (07:26):

But they can't share with you.

Jason Rigby (07:26):

... how seamless, because it went to Berlin, Amsterdam, and where he was originally from.

Alexander McCaig (07:33):

Yeah. Netherlands or whatever.

Jason Rigby (07:33):

Then yeah. So it went through all these countries, very easily be sharing local police departments...

Alexander McCaig (07:40):

But they can't give it to him. The guy who the information is on...

Jason Rigby (07:40):

... but he asked for his own data and he's not a terrorist.

Alexander McCaig (07:43):

Sounds pretty hypocritical.

Jason Rigby (07:44):

I mean, if you're a terrorist, I get it.

Alexander McCaig (07:46):

It sounds like a pretty strong control mechanism. It's just... You know what it is? You know what it boils down to, Jason? This is what it boils down to. It's not right. It's not balanced. It's not fair. It's not transparent. It's an abuse of power. It's wrong. It's just wrong.

Jason Rigby (08:11):

Well, you're going against somebody's free will, one.

Alexander McCaig (08:12):

Yeah.

Jason Rigby (08:12):

Number two, you're putting them on a terrorist list, a watch list. So if he goes...

Alexander McCaig (08:17):

No, no, you know what? I bet you their algorithm put him on a terrorist watch list.

Jason Rigby (08:17):

Yeah, an algorithm did. Yeah.

Alexander McCaig (08:17):

Yeah.

Jason Rigby (08:21):

Then to get him taken off, even though he's submitted all the information, he's still not off. He submitted all the information from the Dutch police saying that he wasn't.

Alexander McCaig (08:29):

You know what that does to somebody's life though?

Jason Rigby (08:31):

Everywhere, every country you go to. I mean, people, in Europe, you go all around. You've been there. We've all been there.

Alexander McCaig (08:35):

Yep.

Jason Rigby (08:35):

You can go from country to country. You can hop on a... Hopping on a train, you get stopped at a border, you show your passport, "Uh-oh. He's on a list. Let's put him in a room, interrogate him for two hours." They don't know. As a police officer, you're not going to know. This guy is tagged as a terrorist.

Alexander McCaig (08:50):

What's he going to say? "I'm not an effing terrorist." They're like, "Yes, you are. Europol says you are." He's like, "That's crap." Then what? You're going to have a conversation about data rights and data systems?

Jason Rigby (09:00):

That's not going to work.

Alexander McCaig (09:01):

That's never going to work.

Jason Rigby (09:01):

They're not going to hear. They hear everything. These police are going to contain you, hold you.

Alexander McCaig (09:05):

It's ass backwards.

Jason Rigby (09:06):

So then now, you've got to against his free will. He can't even go to a different country.

Alexander McCaig (09:09):

No, and then you restrict people's freedom of movement. This is where it goes south. So while Europol's saying they didn't do anything wrong, they are so far off the Richter scale on wrong, it's almost astonishing and I'm glad they got called out for it. That's absurd. It's totally effing absurd. We don't need to live in a world where it's hard enough to get from point A to point B, just with everything we do in a regular day. Now, someone is going to inhibit us because of a digital footprint that is being wrongly associated with a certain algorithm or group. Then that's going to restrict me there even further. So that means everything I interact with, which is inherently digital, I'm not even going to be able to even use. So society, at that point, I can't even interact with it. Think about it. It's wrong. It's just wrong.

Jason Rigby (10:00):

Yeah.

Alexander McCaig (10:00):

It's messed up.

Jason Rigby (10:01):

Yes.

Alexander McCaig (10:02):

It's not good for human evolution, not one iota of it. It does not help human understanding, nothing. And so, yeah. Frankly, I'm glad they called out. Absolutely. Totally absurd. Thanks.

 

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