According to Bloomberg’s David Gauvey Herbert in “This Company Has Built a Profile on Every American Adult”
IDI, a year-old company in the so-called data-fusion business, is the first to centralize and weaponize all that information for its customers. The Boca Raton, Fla., company’s database service, idiCORE, combines public records with purchasing, demographic, and behavioral data. Chief Executive Officer Derek Dubner says the system isn’t waiting for requests from clients—it’s already built a profile on every American adult, including young people who wouldn’t be swept up in conventional databases, which only index transactions. “We have data on that 21-year-old who’s living at home with mom and dad,” he says.
The reports also include photos of cars taken by private companies using automated license plate readers—billions of snapshots tagged with GPS coordinates and time stamps to help PIs surveil people or bust alibis.
Users and industry analysts say the addition of purchasing and behavioral data to conventional data fusion outmatches rival systems in terms of capabilities—and creepiness. “The cloud never forgets, and imperfect pictures of you composed from your data profile are carefully filled in over time,” says Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, a consulting firm. “We’re like bugs in amber, completely trapped in the web of our own data.”
“You may not know what you do on a regular basis, but I know,” Rambam says. “I know it’s Thursday, you haven’t eaten Chinese food in two weeks, and I know you’re due.”
See also “Surveillance vs. morality“.