One of the chief proponents urging the Trump administration to use big tech companies to collect data on users who could potentially conduct violent actions is a former NBC executive and long-time friend of President Donald Trump.
Reports show former NBC chairman Bob Wright has briefed Trump officials on a proposal to create an agency called Health Advanced Research Projects Agency, or HARPA, to design inventive ways to use data for preventing violent incidents. Wright is one of Trump’s long-time friends.
Ivanka Trump asked people pushing for the new agency if it could prevent mass shootings, one person familiar with the conversations who spoke on anonymity because off the sensitive details told The Washington Post on Sept. 9. Her questions came after the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
HARPA would develop “breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence,” according to a copy of the proposal. “A multi-modality solution, along with real-time data analytics, is needed to achieve such an accurate diagnosis.”
The document notes that such data collection would be up to new forms of technology, including Apple Watches, Amazon Echo and Google Home. Geoffrey Ling, the lead scientific adviser on HARPA, told reporters in August that the plan would require enormous amounts of data and “scientific rigor.”
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