The New York Times had an informative but frankly alarming article about the research that maps out every fact about each of us. The article is called “You For Sale: A Data Giant is mapping, and sharing, the consumer genome.”

The article describes the vast “data-mining” business that collects, stores, and sells about 1,500 data points for every one of us. Corporations are buying financial and health information, as well as the consumer preferences of almost every one of us. Says the article, “It’s as if the ore of our data-driven lives were being mined, refined and sold to the highest bidder, usually without our knowledge–by companies that most people rarely even know exist.

Data-driven, data-mining. The wave of the future. Hundreds of millions of federal education dollars spent to build data storehouses in every state for every child, tracking his or her test scores, courses, teachers, health, behavior, choices, extracurricular activities, postsecondary education, career, everything. Cradle to grave.

Please, will someone explain to me what is good about this? Why does the government need to do all these things about us? Why do corporations need to snoop into every corner of our lives?