Thanks to Edward Snowden, users now know that the U.S. National Security Agency collects all of their Internet and cell phone metadata. But how much data does that entail, and what does metadata reveal about us? Two infographics begin to sketch it out.
A demo put together by MIT gives a snapshot of what surveillance could pull out of a Gmail account using only metadata. Users who run the tool (which works only in Chrome) through their Gmail accounts will see that metadata can quickly reveal who they chat most with and which people are connected to one another in their network of contacts. In the case of a soccer league this writer played on, the name of the league was also unearthed. The biggest dots are my family members, whose identity as such is revealed by the names on their email accounts (suppressed here to protect their privacy).
With the latest reports on the NSA’s massive surveillance dragnet indicating that the companies who control the biggest “pipes” of the Internet are required to hand over their data to the government, an infographic put together by WhoIsHostingThis seeks to quantify how much data the NSA could obtain on any given person. We’re betting you know the answer is a whole lot, but you can also find some tips for reducing your data footprint at the bottom.