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Can the Government Deduce Your Religion Without Asking? - Dilbert Blog

Can the Government Deduce Your Religion Without Asking?

I’m hearing a lot of chatter about President Trump potentially creating a “Muslim registry,” which, as it turns out, already exists. The current system only registers non-residents from certain countries. But how hard would it be for the government to figure out all of our religious beliefs – citizens and non-citizens alike — without asking?

My guess is that the government already uses Big Data to determine our religious beliefs and more. Consider all the information they have.

1. Your cell phone leaves a trail in the cloud of where you have been. If you have been to a Mosque, the government can know that.

2. Your banking and credit card records would tell the government if you buy any products associated with Islamic culture or beliefs. That could include food, clothing, and more.

3. The government can search all of your social media, text messages, and other digital communication for keywords and other clues about your beliefs.

4. The government knows who you associate with on social media and what websites you visit.

5. Census information.

6. Non-governmental forms you might have filled out with your religious preferences or ethnic background.

7. Health records might have clues too. For example, a hospital record might specify a halal diet.

I know the government doesn’t have explicit legal authority to snoop into all of the information sources I listed, but I’d be surprised if they aren’t doing it anyway in the name of national security. We wouldn’t know if they had backdoors into the major corporate networks. I assume they do.

So don’t worry too much about a Muslim “registry.” We’ve probably had one for years. And the rest of us are probably on lists of some sort too. So far, all it has done is reduce terror attacks (I presume).

I agree that society needs to keep an eye on this sort of “registry” to prevent abuse. It is frightening to even read the language about it. But once you see it in context, it probably isn’t much change from the current situation.

On another topic…

Are You Divorced with Joint Custody?

If you are a divorced parent with joint custody you know how frustrating it is to manage the hand-offs of the kids once or twice a week. One parent is always waiting for the other, and getting angrier each minute because of lateness that seems intentional (because exes are like that). You don’t want to text your ex, especially when the ex is driving with your kids in the car. So how do you solve this annoying child exchange tension that you have EVERY week?

Try my startup’s new app, WhenHub. It allows any group of two or more people to TEMPORARILY geostream their locations on a map as they head to a meeting spot. (Like the Uber app without the Uber car.) That way you know your ex is on the way without talking to them. And if your ex is not cooperative, you can put the app on your kids’ phones because they will be in the same vehicle.

No more frustrating texts back and forth asking “Where are you???” The geostreaming in the app is always temporary and times-out whenever you specify, so your ex can’t track you.

If you try it once, you’ll never go back to the old way.

WhenHub app for Apple: http://apple.co/2eLL3Oh

WhenHub app for Android: http://bit.ly/2fIb6L7