Big Data yesterday and today —

According to Wikipedia, “big data” is an amalgam of data sets that are so voluminous and complex that traditional data-processing application software is inadequate to deal with them. Well, I have important news. The FBI and its Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) were engaging in big data long before there were even computers. On the FBI website are a couple of one-minute audio clips describing the FBI’s finger print unit (Ident) in 19241950 and today. Here is a wonderful blog describing the process.

Operation ID modeled after the FBI’s fingerprint repository

Every portable electronic item has a fingerprint of sorts. It’s a unique code that only that item has. It’s the serial number. While a fingerprint is left behind at a crime scene for the police to collect, a serial number must be recorded by citizens in advance of a crime. But remember, simply recording a serial number is not Operation ID unless three steps are taken.  There must also be deterrents and a unique identifier tied back to the owner.

  1. Property is marked with a universal identifier which acts as a lost and found.
  2. The make, model and serial numbers are recorded which are used by the police
  3. Warning signs are posted on doors and windows which are designed to deter criminals
Citizens can contribute to the FBI’s big data

It’s simple to do. File a police report in the event of a crime. The simple act of filing a police report helps law enforcement professionals immeasurably. Don’t underestimate the value of your small contribution. Having serial numbers of stolen portable items is powerful information. The FBI crunches the data, analyzes patterns and feeds that information back to local law enforcement agencies. By installing MyPropertyID in your home or small business, you are taking another vital step in helping the police. The serial numbers of stolen items will lead to convictions.

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