[LINK] It's Not All About You: What P... (theatlantic.com)
swilson at lockstep.com.au
Fri Mar 16 15:36:50 EST 2012
It's very common for people to seek to treat privacy from fresh angles,
like power asymmetries or information ownership. There have long been
different philisophical frames for examining the issue. What I
personally like about OECD style Information Privacy principles is that
they decouple us from philosphical minefields, or potentially emotive
questions like 'absolute' human rights (and they're biased in a consumer
rights kind of way towards individuals not business and government).
When I see alternative framescome upfor examining privacy -- or when
someone insists that "what privacy is REALLY all about is ..." -- then I
try to look for the writer's motivation:
- Are they American and trying (often in good faith) to get around the
constitutional free speech arguments that seem to give businesses
inordinate power to exploit PI once they have it.
- Are they interested in gauging harm, in way that the effectiveness of
Mandatory Breach Legislation is often categorised according to whether
the trigger is harm occurring.
- Are they trying to stake out new ground, perhaps as an academic or
public intellectual? Not that there's anythinmg wrong with that. But in
Australia we don't need new paradigms so much as better enforcement of
the paradigm we've got.
- Have they not even read Privacy Law? Because what privacy is "really"
all about in Australia is technically really pretty straightforward. But
Lockstep Consulting provides independent specialist advice and analysis
on digital identity and privacy.Lockstep Technologies develops unique
new smart ID solutions that enhance privacy and prevent identity theft.
On 16/03/2012 3:01 PM, Roger Clarke wrote:
> At 13:49 +1100 16/3/12, Dr Bob Jansen wrote:
>> It's Not All About You: What Privacy Advocates Don't Get About Data
>> Tracking on the Web
> The first half of the title is fair enough, and the text below says
> it well (although it's hardly new news).
> But I'm not sure what justification Furnas has for accusing "privacy
> advocates" of not knowing how behavioural targeting works, and why
> it's a problem.
> I don't agree with his conclusion that "our critiques of ad tracking
> (and the fundamental asymmetries it creates) need to focus more on
> power and less on privacy". *Both* need to be focussed on, market
> power in the consumer protection context, and privacy in the human
> rights context.
> Maybe what Furnas really means is 'Consumer advocates need to wake up
> and attack behavioural targeting, and its enabler, the acquisition
> and exploitation of personal data, with as much gusto as privacy
> advocates do'.
> [So, agreed Bob, it's thought-provoking, i.e. just-annoying-enough (:-)} ]
> Nice short explanation:
> Rather than caring about what they know about me, we should care
> about what they know about us. Detailed knowledge of individuals and
> their behavior coupled with the aggregate data on human behavior now
> available at unprecedented scale grants incredible power. Knowing
> about all of us - how we behave, how our behavior has changed over
> time, under what conditions our behavior is subject to change, and
> what factors are likely to impact our decision-making under various
> conditions - provides a roadmap for designing persuasive
> technologies. For the most part, the ethical implications of
> widespread deployment of persuasive technologies remains unexamined.
> Using all of the trace data we leave in our digital wakes to target
> ads is known as "behavioral advertising." This is what target was
> doing to identify pregnant women, and what Amazon does with every
> user and every purchase. But behavioral advertisers do more than just
> use your past behavior to guess what you want. Their goal is actually
> to alter user behavior. Companies use extensive knowledge gleaned
> from innumerable micro-experiments and massive user behavior data
> over time to design their systems to elicit the monetizable behavior
> that their business models demand. At levels as granular as Google
> testing click-through rates on 41 different shades of blue,
> data-driven companies have learned how to channel your attention,
> initiate behavior, and keep you coming back.
> ... this is just an update to the longstanding discussion in business
> ethics circles over the implications of persuasive advertising.
> Behavioral economics has shown that humans' cognitive biases can be
> exploited, so Roger Crisp has noted that subliminal and persuasive
> advertising undermines the autonomy of the consumer. And the advent
> of big-data and user-centered design has provided those who would
> persuade with a new and more powerful arsenal. This has led design
> ethicists to call for the explicit "moralization of technology,"
> wherein designers would have to confront the ethical implications of
> the actions they shape.
> ... The result is a fundamental information asymmetry. The data
> collectors have more information than those they are they are
> collecting the data from; the persuaders more power than the
> ... To understand the stakes, our critiques of ad tracking (and the
> fundamental asymmetries it creates) need to focus more on power and
> less on privacy.
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