Jason Q. Ng on Ali Baba CEO’s big data surveillance endorsement

November 4, 2016

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Categories: In the Media, Jason Q. Ng, News and Announcements

In a recent speech, Chinese billionaire and Ali Baba co-founder Jack Ma suggested that the Chinese government should use big data to help prevent crime, a view that resonates with the ruling Communist party’s efforts to establish a system parsing citizen information online. The comments come in the wake of new anti-terror laws that came into effect at the beginning of 2016, giving authorities access to bank accounts, telecommunications information, and a national network of surveillance cameras.

Citizen Lab Senior Research Fellow Jason Q. Ng commented on Ma’s remarks in an interview with Bloomberg, saying “I imagine Jack Ma sees benefits not only in staying in the government’s good graces by actively monitoring citizens though data mining, but also undoubtedly a business opportunity.” He added: “Without some level of transparency and oversight and clear boundaries, I worry deeply for citizens’ rights and the ability for this technology to be abused as simply another method to identify and monitor Chinese individuals who dare to not agree with authority figures.”

Read the full Bloomberg article, or further coverage in Fortune or Information Management.

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