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Understanding Our “Always On” World

Let’s face it — there are a lot of benefits to being always on, but there are also a lot of downsides. Calling the world digitally connected is an understatement. Despite a still very real digital divide, large swaths of the U.S. and the world are increasingly interconnected. This has considerable personal, professional, and sociological implications. Society as a whole is still grappling with the effect that “always being on” is having.

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Bring on the Big Data Debate

At CDT we believe in the power of the Internet and the power of information, so by extension, we support the responsible uses of big data to help address the challenges of society, including to help better meet the needs of individuals. However, this support does not extend to all applications of big data. The NSA’s bulk collection of telephony metadata is a prime example of big data that goes well beyond legal authorities (and that has little usefulness, it turns out).

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