Matrix Data-Mining Grant has Expired (Seisint)Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Matrix Data-Mining Grant has Expired (Seisint)

20 April 2005 at 5:11:04 PM

Background: Lexis/Nexis informed that the Seisint breakin of personal records larger than expected.

Data was provided by Seisint, a data-mining firm recently embroiled in a flap over an intrusion into its databases that may have compromised the information of about 310,000 Americans. Seisint is owned by Lexis-Nexis.

While MATRIX officially concluded as a federal pilot project on April 15, it could live on if states decide to cough up the cash necessary to keep it going. Some say they will. Florida says it's "independently negotiating the continued use" of the application.

Among the databases MATRIX tied together: criminal history, prisoner and sex offender information, driver's license and registration data, and many other databases such as court records and directory assistance listings. MATRIX permitted police to run complex queries, such as "all red Buicks with 7 as the last character in the license plate."

A 2003 presentation from Seisint boasts that the 13-state MATRIX pilot program has "8.4 billion records, with a 50 state rollout supporting 10.8 billion records." The records totaled 23.4 terabytes with the ability to grow to 85.5 terabytes, Seisint said. Privacy groups weren't exactly overjoyed at that news.

As one of the large group concerned about privacy and the problem of a private corporation without oversight, without privisions for customers to see or correct information contained in the database, we are pleaseed to see that the project grant has expired. However, what happens to all that data? Will the Seisint/Lexis Nexis company be able to turn around and offer the information on a mercantile basis? Will the data be purged and if so, how would the consumer know when he or she cannot examine data at this point? We will be more satisfied reading about the end of the Matrix/Seisint grant when we find out the resolution of the mass of data warehoused by the company.

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