The Walmart Conspiracy Building

By | June 5, 2006

The Walmart Conspiracy Building

The Wal-Mart Data Center in McDonald County is deemed so secret the county assessor was required to sign a non-disclosure statement before entering the site to determine property value. The photo was taken in 2004, when the center was nearly complete.

Wal-Mart’s ability to crunch numbers is a favorite of conspiracy theorists, and its data centers are the corporate counterpart to Area 51 at Groom Lake in the state of Nevada. According to one consumer activist, Katherine

Albrecht, even the wildest conspiracy buff might be surprised at just how much Wal-Mart knows about its customers – and how much more it would like to know.

“We were contacted about two years ago by somebody who runs a security company that had been asked in a request for proposals for ways they could link video footage with customers paying for their purchases,” Albrecht said. “Wal-Mart would actually be able to view photos and video of customers paying, say, for a pack of gum. At the time, it struck me as unbelievably outlandish because of the amount of data storage required.”

But Wal-Mart, according to a 2004 New York Times article, had enough storage capacity to contain twice the amount of all the information available on the Internet. For the technically minded, the exact amount was for 460 terabytes of data. – globe

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