This from Wendy Grossman hits the nail quite precisely on its head.
“The problem isn’t privacy,” the cryptography pioneer Whitfield Diffie said recently. “It’s corporate malfeasance.”
This is obviously right. Viewed that way, when data profiteers claim that “privacy is no longer a social norm”, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did in 2010, the correct response is not to argue about privacy settings or plead with users to think again, but to find out if they’ve broken the law.
I think I need to make this into a slide for my stock slide deck. It’s also I think why the GDPR focuses on data protection and the basis for data usage, not on privacy as such.
(Do add Wendy Grossman’s blog net.wars to your feedreader.)
After California, now the Washington State senate has adopted a data protection and privacy act that takes the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as an example to emulate.
This is definitely a hoped for effect of the GDPR when it was launched. European environmental and food safety standards have had similar global norm setting impact. This as for businesses it generally is more expensive to comply with multiple standards, than it is to only comply with the strictest one. We saw it earlier in companies taking GDPR demands and applying them to themselves generally. That the GDPR might have this impact, is an intentional part of how the EC is developing a third proposition in data geopolitics, between the surveillance capitalism of the US data lakes, and the data driven authoritarianism of China.
To me the GDPR is a quality assurance instrument, with its demands increasing over time. So it is encouraging to see other government entities outside the EU taking a cue from the GDPR. California and Washington State now have adopted similar laws. Five other States in the USA have introduced similar laws for debate in the past 2 months: Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Maryland.
Service announcement: I regularly lie to data gathering platforms like FB. So any message from FB telling you it’s my birthday today can be safely ignored. It’s not. They wanted to check my age when I created the account. They don’t need a day and month for that, and for that matter any year before 2000 will do. I lied to FB. You should too.
For those of you sending birthday wishes: thank you, I appreciate hearing from you. It’s good to know you
This is a very interesting article to read. A small French adtech company Vectaury has been ordered to stop using and delete the personal data of tens of millions of Europeans, as it cannot show proper consent as required under the GDPR. Of interest here is that Vectaury tried to show consent using a branche wide template by IAB. A French judge has ruled this is not enough. This is an early sign that as Doc Searls says GDPR is able to, though at the speed of legal proceedings, put a stake through the heart of ad-tech. Provided enforcement goes forward.
A month after the verdict, Vectaury’s website still proudly claims that they’re GDPR compliant because they use the concept of a ‘consent management provider’. Yet that is exactly what has now been ruled as not enough to show actual consent.
This Twitter thread by NYT’s Robin Berjon about the case is also interesting.
Does the New York Times see the irony? This article talks about how US Congress should look much less at the privacy terms of big tech, and more at the actual business practices.
Yet it calls upon me to disable my ad blocker. The ad blocker that blocks 28 ads in a single article, all served by a Google advertisement tracker. One which one of my browsers flags as working the same way as cross site scripting attacks work.
If as you say adverts are at the core of your business model, making journalism possible, why do you outsource it?
I’m ok with advertising New York Times, but not with adtech. There’s a marked difference between the two. It’s adtech, not advertising, that does the things you write about, like “how companies can use our data to invisibly shunt us in directions” that don’t benefit us. And adtech is the reason that, as you the say, the “problem is unfettered data exploitation and its potential deleterious consequences.” I’m ok with a newspaper running their own ads. I’m not ok with the New York Times behaving like a Trojan horse, pretending to be a newspaper but actually being a vehicle for, your own words, the “surveillance economy”.
Until then my ad blocker stays.
My browser blocking 28 ads (see the address bar) on a single article, all from 1 Google ad tracker.
Got a new phone (after selecting a new plan with some effort). As I don’t allow my phone to back-up everything to the (google) cloud, it took a few hours to get the new one ready: installing apps, and logging into all the associated accounts (using 1password). On the upside, it means a lot of unnecessary stuff accumulated over the last 2 years has been left behind on the old device.