Security expert Bruce Schneier puts the importance of metadata into focus with a great analogy about how a private detective might collect info on someone for a client. His conclusion is poignant.

When the government collects metadata on people, the government puts them under surveillance. When the government collects metadata on the entire country, they put everyone under surveillance. When Google does it, they do the same thing. Metadata equals surveillance; it’s that simple.

security privacy metadata meta-data

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