11:09 AM

Enigma Publishes 100,000 Public Databases: This Is 'Big Data' Versus Everyone


Enigma launched today, with an intriguing service: the New York based startup offers an easy way to search through more than 100,000 public databases. 

Chris Velazco at TC reports:

Founded by Hicham Oudghiri and Marc Dacosta and helmed by CEO Jeremy Bronfmann, Enigma taps into over 100,000 public data sources from state and federal records to SEC filings to lists of frozen assets in the United Kingdom all the way to Crunchbase. The end result is an incredibly simple, incredibly smart way to sift through and find connections in publicly available data.

Foremski's Take: Within a single public database there's likely little of interest to society at large but if there's links across tens of thousands of databases then we will see many skeletons coming out of many people's closets, and probably on a scale larger than Wikileaks. It's a fabulous bonanza for investigative reporters, the ones that are still around.

However, you don't have to be elite and famous to feel concerned about the Big Data engines of Enigma. All 100k plus databases will be picked over by multitudes of research companies aggregating data on individual consumers.  

You and I are enigmas to most of the outside world, only we know the sum total of our lives and its crevices. But services from companies such as Enigma will make us less mysterious, more ordinary, more able to be dumped into a demographic bucket of one type, possibly two. I'm very much in favor of preserving individual enigmas because the possibilities, and the potential mythologies, are far more interesting stories than judgements about the past. [This doesn't apply to corporations and the elites.]

Big Brother technologies are on the rise and are being used to divine your intent. Fortunately, they aren't looking for mind-crimes but for the mundane -- where you'll spend your next dollar.