January 29, 2010

Reading "The Broken Window"

Can you say Data Mining? This book was very scary in a today's real world kind of way.

Written by Jeffery Deaver, this is another Lincoln Rhyme / Amelia Sachs murder mystery. (Remember "The Bone Collector" that was made into a movie starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie?) The paperback edition was released in May 2009 and I picked it up at the used book store.

The basic premise of the story is that someone is killing people, then planting evidence that very strongly convicts other people of the murders. The killer is able to go into any type of record out there and make changes ... you failed a drug test you didn't take ... you have an outstanding warrant when you really don't ... you've missed making your car payments when you really haven't. But the records are what the authorities believe and proving anything different is pretty much impossible.

He is also able to view your records to see what kind of evidence to plant. You bought a rope at Home Depot ... you belong to a certain gym ... you frequent a specific Starbucks. Even paying cash for your transactions doesn't mean you aren't being tracked.

There really are companies out there that specialize in data mining, selling the information to people who want to sell you something or figure out where you're at in life ... buying a house ... having a baby ... being promoted in your job.

jeffery deaver
You know those little key ring reward cards for your favorite places to shop? Oh yeah, everything you buy is being tracked by someone and that information is sold to someone else. Scary, huh?

The reason Lincoln Rhyme becomes involved in these murders is his cousin, Arthur Rhyme, is being convicted for one of them. This was a very good book and, frankly, I find myself thinking about it as I'm out running errands, leaving a trail of information.



Sara said...

Totally on my list!

jayaycee said...

It's pretty fascinating. Makes you think about what you're doing.