The other day I had to change my cell-phone plan. Predictably I was on hold for a long time, and was bounced around from representative to representative. The whole process took a good portion of the day. Eventually, I got a phone call from a “verification” service without which I could not get any service. The verification process included the verifier asking me all sorts of questions that included, “Who is xyz Talukdar? Answer yes or no to the alternatives.” “Is he your father?” “no,” “Your brother?” “yes.” Bingo! correct answer. The verifier assured me that all this information was on public record. That may be, but the fact that someone is actually collecting all this information and can use it so easily, makes one pause. Its creepy being the object of surveillance.