It's a project that worries privacy-rights advocates and other critics. They wonder if Asher's real reason for donating some of his technology to government agencies is to get access to confidential data like firearms registries, tax information, even health records — information that could be a boon to businesses and an unprecedented intrusion into the lives of millions of Americans.
"He wants to have every scrap of personal data that he can acquire on any and everybody,'' says Marion Hammer, a past president of the National Rifle Association. "I know that he has people working to find ways to get data from state agencies and of course there is data that we would never want him to get his hands on.''
Fueling speculation about Asher's motives are his controversial past and the fact he has hired many well-connected individuals. Among them: Bob Butterworth, former head of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Asher acknowledges that his new database product could earn billions of dollars for his Boca Raton company. But he says he'll continue to provide his predator-tracking technology free to police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
So, once again, "protecting the children" becomes the justification for further intrusion into o0ur private lives.
Now, I am all for protecting children, but this system of data mining has no more to do with protecting children than "Cap and Trade" has to do with the environment or Obamacare has to do with your health.