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Most companies these days are hoarding data with no current abilities to analyze it for profit. They're rightly predicting that analytical capabilities will improve and they don't want to be the ones living in that world without massive amounts of customer data.

Right. That way I can send you the ads I would have targetted to you if you were still in college! That you are now 40 and have 3 kids is no matter. You still want all the cool college stuff, right?

They're not necessarily storing the data now to analyze later. They're building the capacity to acquire that data so that when the time comes all they have to do is flip a switch.

I'm not saying it'll ever pan out, I'm saying it's a much more likely explanation for Microsoft centralizing certain types of Skype communication than some shady back-alley deal with the NSA.

Data storage is stupidly cheap. You might as well save all the data your users provide to you.

I am curious. Regarding voice communications, where does the Stored Communications Act come into this? What can they legally store?

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