Again, why would your information be useful at all? You are probably not that interesting of an individual to begin with just as I. Do you think the government really cares, and if you do, why? I think many who have this fear may actually have some type of mental illness. Some may call it schizophrenia. There really is no argument that can be made to convince me that information about an every day person would be useful at all. Only people who believe they are either more important than they really are, or people who have a illogical fear of oversight, which many schizophrenics do, could believe their personal information is of any value.The government can access that same info and combine it with my telephone and utilitiy records, e-mail history, property records, criminal record, driver's license and vehicle registration info, public school records, social security and tax records. Much of that information is accessible by anyone. (as seen by the targeted junk mail you get) Anyone with access to all that info can know more about me than my spouse.
What use would this information be other than to track and detain criminals? And if it were being used in that way, I think it would be transparent enough to all of us via the media that we would act. I would be against the use of such technology in the way you mention above, but as of yet, there has been no evidence it has been used in that way on the scale people fear it will be. I don't know anyone who would not be against the use of this technology in anything other than tracking criminal activity. The very technology that would monitor us is also the technology that would expose it use as such. The same advances that would allow governments to track individuals also allows individuals to expose governments acting irresponsibly. So in the end it all washes.With nearly everyone in the system there is so much data that there is a very slight possibility that any one individual is going to be selected for deeper investigation. The technology required to make sense and practical use of all that raw date is still relatively primitive compared to its potential. That is why the supporters of a surveillance state reassure us that we are not likely to be targetted. However, all that information compiled on nearly everyone in the USA in a sophisticated database can find connections between people and organizations and detect all sorts of trends and tendencies.
And as you rightly point out, it was reported thru the news. If the U.S. was a country like china where they censor the media and control information about itself, it would of course be troublesome. But in the U.S. that type of activity is quickly exposed because of the very technology that would allow anyone to know specifics about you.Read the news stories on how the Chinese government is using information on citizen's internet use. I don't think it is at all farfetched to say that our government has the ability to disrupt political movements such as Occupy or the Tea Party before they even get started. They can potentially use their massive information database in conjunction with old fashioned investigative work, political dirty tricks, Cointel type tactics and advertisng/marketing techniques to acheive virtually any type of political, social or marketing goal. If they can't do it right now, they will be able to do it in the near future.
This technology will be available either way. There is no way you are going to escape it. By condemning it outright, you will only drive it underground where we will ever know about it. I think the correct approach is to understand this new reality and embrace it in a way that forces it to become transparent.With that much power in the hands of government, democracy becomes a farce. Perhaps it is not being abused yet. But all it will take is one person with a high level of access and a malicious or misguided agenda for many lives to be ruined. Mistakes will be made. Technology and privileges will be abused. Power and money will corrupt government officals. Bad, mentally ill or misguided people will be in positions of power.