Here is an interesting (and a little controversial) article.

Briefly and informally, data mining refers to the process of extracting information from data. Data that on its own, may not make sense but through combination, inference and deduction techniques, produce patterns of useful and valuable information. These techniques have been used in the retail and banking industries to predict consumer trends and fraudulent activities. They can also be used to identify threats such as terrorists and pedophiles. Of course, there is also the possibility of error and wrongly labeling an innocent person as a threat.

It is arguable that the larger the volume of data and the higher its precision, the more accurate the results of the data mining techniques. However, data still needs to be provided in the very first place and from a researcher’s point of view, it has always been difficult to obtain data due to privacy concerns from data owners. (Who really owns the data is yet another issue.)

So how much of your privacy are you willing sacrifice to protect and ensure the safety and security of yourself and the ones around you?