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Metadata is content

3. Jul 2012

You may remember that Jacob Appelbaum said “Metadata is content, right?”. Maybe others said that as well.

However this is not fully understood or played down, at least sometimes. Die Zeit published an article more than an year ago.

Malte Spitz, a politician of the German Green party asked his mobile phone provider for his metadata, well he had to pull them in front of the court. That would be the data law enforcement would have had access to. In some countries without a warrant. It’s just metadata, isn’t it?

The article over at Don’t worry it’s written in English. Anyway I did not quote anything from there, although I think I could have done that without problems.

There’s even an interactive map. Beside the data provided by Spitz, they used publicly available information like Twitter messages or (Online) newspapers, blogs to show what he planning to do.

The data used to generate this map are available here.

It tells a lot more than some people have thought in the first place. The reason for this exercise was to show what can be revealed about a persons life, especially when the data is stored for a longer period like it was intended for the “data retention” (VDS). Germany doesn’t have store those data for later analysis, yet. I don’t know how other countries, within the EU, handle this, since the EU wants those data to be stored for a longer period of time. Collecting the data from anyone without any previous reason… and I live within the EU.

Do you have other examples?

From → General, Private

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