NYT has a detailed article on how Govt wants to use data mining. This article shows how data mining is being applied to interesting problems in counterterrorism and other operations by analyzing large databases. A key point is that start-up companies are contributing to this technology effectively by developing cutting edge techniques in this area.
I was pleased to see that Virage, the company I co-founded, was mentioned as one contributing to the cutting edge techniques.
Current data mining techniques are limited to techniques that don’t consider time and location. Event mining techniques are the next generation of data mining and will be revolutionary in all the aspects mentioned in this article. Well, there will be serious privacy implications, as are with data mining also. But I believe that is a separate issue — a very important one — that needs to be solved to make sure that people are comfortable with development of these techniques.
The term Data Mining unfortunately got associated with the whole privacy issue because of the huge media circulation of the counter terrorism project using data mining. It is a bit unfair on the data mining field. Since, the field has many other great applications than only counterterrorism or applications regarding privacy invasion.