I would hope that if our government ever considered something like this then a lot of incumbents would be out of a job.
Page 2: UK Surveillance Program Could Expose Private Lives - ABC News
"You can figure somebody's sleep patterns, their weekly pattern of work," said Tony Jebara, a Columbia University expert on artificial intelligence. In 2006, he helped found New York-based Sense Networks, which crunches phone data to do just that.
Jebara said that calls made from the same location from 9 to 5 are a good indication of where a person works; the frequency of email traffic to or from a person's work account is a good hint of his or her work ethic; dramatic changes to a person's electronic routine might suggest a promotion — or a layoff.
"You can quickly figure out when somebody lost their job," Jebara said, adding: "Credit card companies have been interested in that for a while."
THEY'LL KNOW WHO'S THE BOSS
Drill down, and communication can reveal remarkably rich information. For example, does office worker A answer office worker B's missives within minutes of the message being sent? Does B often leave colleagues' emails unanswered for hours on end? If so, B probably stands for "boss."
That's an example of what Jebara's Columbia colleagues call "automated social hierarchy detection," a technique that can infer who gives the orders, who's respected and who's ignored based purely on whose emails get answered and how quickly. In 2007, they analyzed traffic from the Enron Corporation's email archive to correctly guess the seniority of several top-level managers.