Bush's database faces privacy, not technical, concerns

Thursday, 6 February 2003, 1:01 PM EST

President George Bush's plan for a massive antiterrorism database center, announced in his state of the union address last week, could be up and running within months from a technology standpoint, if the Bush administration chooses to move that fast, but harder to overcome will be privacy concerns of a non-technical nature, experts said.

Allen Shay, president and chief operating officer of NCR Government Systems' Teradata Division, said the U.S. government could quickly put in place the first phase of a terrorist-tracking data-mining system by using commercial data-mining software already available.

"They'll take the first, let's say, 15 or 20 databases that are most critical and put an initial system capability in place, and that can be done in a matter of a few months, rather than years," Shay said. "What the government's trying to do now is something that the commercial world has been forced into years ago. It's not only do-able; it's been done by commercial companies for the last 10 plus years."

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