‘Big Brother, Big Business’ is a special report wherein CNBC takes a look at the companies behind the powerful business of personal information and the people whose lives are affected by it.
It reveals how every day technologies are being used to monitor Americans with unique scrutiny – from driving habits to workplace surveillance; shoppers and diners are observed and analyzed; internet searches are monitored and used as evidence in court, and it is the big businesses that collect most of the data. But increasingly, it’s the government that’s using it.
It gives examples of unsuspecting vulnerable citizens who get caught up in the net, such as a woman who lost her job due to mistaken identity; a man whose cell phone records were stolen by his former employer; a woman whose personal information was stolen from a company she had never heard of; a man who discovered his rental car company was tracking his every move.
The documentary also looks at how identities are being established using biometric means by the FBI, the Border Patrol, police departments and schools and also details of how an AOL division is established that works solely to satisfy the requests of law enforcement for information about AOL’s members.