Rush Limbaugh gets it. Barack Obama gets it. Even Samsung and the producers who manage Jay-Z get it.
In a little more than a week after its June 24 launch, Jay-Z’s album “Magna Carta Holy Grail” had been downloaded free by more than a half-million people who purchased Samsung’s popular Galaxy S4 cellphone, Billboard reported.
But there was a catch.
Downloading Jay-Z’s new album on the Samsung phone required a special app that also retrieves a ton of personal information from the user and delivers it to Samsung.
Limbaugh went on to explain the app required users to supply their phone status and their identity to Samsung and Roc Nation, the producer of Jay-Z’s new album, along with information about social networking accounts such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Now, the fans, you can imagine, were totally clueless,” Limbaugh said.
“They had no idea. They just thought, ‘Holy, wowie zowie, Jay-Z, Magna Carta … Holy Grail for free.’ And they did what they had to do, and they ended up having every bit of data about themselves transferred from their phone back to Samsung and whoever else,” Limbaugh said.
“I don’t really know who else got it. Maybe the NSA, maybe Vladimir Putin. Who knows who got it? Edward Snowden on his way to Venezuela? They granted him asylum down there.”
WND senior staff reporter Jerome R. Corsi, author the new WND book “What Went Wrong? The Inside Story of the GOP Debacle of 2012 … And How It Can Be Avoided Next Time,” noted that the plan President Obama discussed Monday to introduce Google-like features to federal government websites shows he understands the power of data-mining.
The tactic was at the center of his 2012 presidential campaign.
“Obama wants to collect so much macro-data on our behavior as communicators and consumers that he can predict and control our political behavior, down to which candidate we prefer and when we are going to vote,” Corsi said.
Every time government or corporations offer to “help” users, he warned, “we should be on alert.”
“Free services always come with a price, and what governments and corporation are hungry to mine in the 21st century is every possible piece of information they can gather about citizens and consumers,” Corsi said.
The power of 21st century electronic technology and contemporary data-management sciences, he said, should not be underestimated.
“Government, political campaigns as sophisticated as Obama ran, and an increasing number of corporations want to listen in on every phone call we make and read every email we write or receive,” Corsi said. “Why? Because this information can be analyzed to tell social scientists on the receiving end of the data-mining operation more about us than we even know ourselves.”
He said the National Security Agency and Jay-Z’s producers “both want the capability to know you so well they can predict and control what you are thinking about, what you are going to do next, without you even being aware they are doing so.”
“And if you think this is science fiction, you’re wrong,” Corsi said. “This is how Obama got re-elected, and this is how Obama thinks the Democratic Party can create and control a Democratic electoral majority that will guarantee Democrats the White House for a generation or more to come.”
Are the Republicans equally data-savvy?
“Unfortunately, no,” Corsi replied. “Mitt Romney lost in 2012 because his political advisers thought a good message beat a get-out-the-vote computer-driven voter intelligence system every time, and they were wrong.”
Obama had field workers equipped with iPads that identified each Obama volunteer who had voted on Election Day and which Obama voters yet needed rides to the polls, Corsi pointed out.
Romney workers were left cooling their heels when the Republican-crafted GOTV computer system in Boston crashed because Romney’s data geniuses had never thought to do a real-time field test of the computer system before switching it on nationwide on Election Day.
“What happened?” Corsi asked rhetorically. “The Democrats got a record turnout of voters targeted in advance to be Obama supporters, while Republican strategists even today are asking why so many Romney voters stayed home.”