Posts Tagged ‘Privacy issues’

Google – you are teaching people bad habits

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Google, my dear, you know I love you. I have been pimping out your tools since I first stumbled upon your Stanford page in 97 when I was doing SEO for a living. I even told my mom about you before you were on…

And I do know your motto of “don’t be evil” but do you realize you are teaching people bad habits in regards to giving away data ownership?

See I know that you expire data, and do much to anonymize data, and try to protect privacy of the individual. But I only know this because I personally know many google employees.  Those dear souls comfort my worried paranoid brain by explaining some internal processes to me.

But see I worry about the “thought crime” becoming a reality from the huge amounts of social behavior collected.

Though I do things like use google latitude. How do I justify such things?

Because you let me control it. I decide who sees it. I can set it to a location (lying maybe but eh…) While I don’t know what ATT does with this data ( I mean for all I know they are still handing it over to GW even though he isn’t president anymore.)  This tool could be used as an amazing lesson to people (look at the data Sandy Pentland at MIT media lab is gathering!)

My request is this… could you make people more aware of their data ownership? Could you make them aware that even though you guys aren’t Evil… that other sites out there collecting information MIGHT be?

please be a bit more public about your policies

ask others to also be more aware

teach people to fish – rather than giving them a fish?

we need things to illustrate transparent equitable standards for open data… can I help?  I won’t charge too much :-)


How to create negiotiable contracts?

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

I think the biggest current barrier to creating equitable relationships btn shared data in social networks btn the customers has to do with the contracts.  I mean B2B relationships wouldn’t put up with this all or nothing behavior.  So we have to fix this before a mesh of Social Net’s can occur.

Most contracts currently on the cloud are all or nothing arrangements.  Therefore people accept contracts that this non lawyer views as unreasonable and often enforceable… Simply because they have no option. They typically give up ALL RIGHTS to their data (please please post links here to any that don’t! as I would love to say THANKS!)

I do think we need an organization ala Creative Commons/eTrust to police these businesses.  ~4 yrs ago I registered in anticipation of such issues occurring. I just wish I could clone myself (and grant myself $20Mi) to pursue this idea too!

People only become aware of these severe inequalities when something fails on a social level say Kodak decides to delete all the data… This will happen more as more businesses on the Cloud fail.  That data means more to the individual at that point than it does to the business.  So deleting is the easy thing to do and fiscally makes sense for the business.

It seems that people only see the social contracts that are broken btn them and the organizations.  They do not notice the other forms of lack of control over their data…  Like Facebook and Beacon, people don’t care UNTIL this data is reflected back to their friends.  Then they care.  This doesn’t make sense from a data ownership point of view.  That is because we are short sighted creatures and few understand databases, data mining, and social behavioral metrics.  They cannot see this reflection and I am as guilty as the rest of them.  I also hope that society will take care of this issue.  But I worry and wonder what our “star of david” will be if will are not observant.

I would tentatively like to propose 3 settings for the contracts

  1. Transparent – All sharing ON CC enabled
  2. Paranoid – All sharing OFF only to members of friendlist explicitly granted?
  3. most popular settings- in the middle – not sure here… um Copyright all right reserved?

Maybe the Social Net’s or other products on the cloud can give different levels of features to encourage people to choose transparent…  but really the big thing that I would point out is that the most necessary piece is to be OPEN about the data being collected.  I did issue this challenge to Mark Hindsbo at Microsoft for the new cloud they are creating.  They have the ability and power to do it right.  I hope society will also reward them for doing so…

I know these need work but I still think it is a good starting point of discussion. having met the attorney at several of these businesses they are looking for guidance too.  Businesses are become wise to the fact that people often lie in inequitable relationships…