… test version of a data-mining tool in Delta’s offices, and he was surprised by the technology’s power to collect vast amounts of personal information using one start point. Jackson volunteered his Social Security number and watched the tool retrieve his address, the names of his neighbours, his wife’s name, and the date they were married, all from publicly available information. Some of the Delta employees had been test subjects already, and when his own personal information stated popping up for all to see, Jackson joked he’d seen enough. But the demo convinced him that the government had to have this capacity. Not because he wanted it. But because he was afraid he couldn’t do his job without it.
* Shane Harris, The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State