Dangers of Data Centralization Circa 1971
“In this scatteration lies our protection. But put everything in one place, computerize it, and add to it without limit, and a thieving electronic blackmailer would have just one electronic safe to crack to get a victim's complete dossier—tough as that job would be.
"And a malevolent Big Brother would not even have to do that, he could sit in his office, punch a few keys, and arm himself with all he needed to know to crush any citizen who threatened his power.
“Along with the bugged olive in the Martini, the psychological test, and the spike microphone, the critics have seen ‘data surveillance’ as an ultimate destroyer of the individual American citizen's right to privacy--his right to call his soul his own.”
This was included in a statement from Robert P. Bigelow, Attorney at Law, Boston, quoting Thomas J. Watson Jr. before a U.S. Senate Congressional Hearing: "Federal Data Bank, Computers, and the Bill of Rights" on March 10, 1971
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Attribution: John R. Bangs Jr., “Human-O-Grams,” The Ithaca Journal, April 14, 1938, p. 12
Peter E. Greulich
Pete has been studying IBM and early American corporate history since his retirement in 2011. These are his thoughts and musings, and of those whose biographies he has read with links to articles and book reviews on this website.