[PET] cognitive dissonance indeed

Claudia Diaz claudia.diaz at esat.kuleuven.be
Fri Apr 20 17:29:30 BST 2012

Michael, thanks for sending the link to the Solove paper - very enjoyable reading!

Matt, my impression is that talking about "ownership of personal data" is too simplistic to capture the complexities of the problem. Who owns statistical profiles made from "anonymized" data? If I comment on a picture uploaded by you in which Alice and Bob appear, who is the owner of the "data"? Who "owns" this email, which contains the message by Matt, the response of Michael (with his PGP key), my response, links to two articles, and the email address of the PET list? 

... to me the register article looks like a clumsy attempt to sell DRM as the solution to our privacy problems.  

On 20 Apr 2012, at 11:37:24, Michael Rogers wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Hi Matt,
> Daniel J. Solove makes a strong argument that viewing privacy as a
> property right fails to capture the kinds of power involved in control
> over personal information (especially when aggregated in databases), as
> opposed to control over possessions:
> "The value of one?s Social Security number lies not in its intimacy, not
> in its immediate revelations of selfhood, and not in the fact that the
> individual has authored it or given it special value. Rather, the value
> is in the power of this number over the individual; the ability it
> provides to others to gain power and control over an individual, to
> invade an individual?s private life, to make the individual vulnerable
> to fraud, identity theft, prying, snooping, and the like. Because this
> value is linked to uncertain future uses, it is difficult, if not
> impossible, for an individual to adequately value her information. Since
> the ownership model involves individuals relinquishing full title to the
> information, they have little idea how such information will be used
> when in the hands of others.
>     Furthermore, the aggregation problem severely complicates the
> valuation process. An individual may give out bits of information in
> different contexts, each transfer appearing innocuous. However, the
> information can be aggregated and could prove to be invasive of the
> private life when combined with other information. It is the totality of
> information about a person and how it is used that poses the greatest
> threat to privacy."
> http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=248300
> Cheers,
> Michael
> On 19/04/12 16:53, Wright, Matthew wrote:
>> Interesting article -- we just fought off attempts to censor the
>> Internet in the US.
>> Is the idea of owning one's data and enforcement of that through network
>> protocols good for privacy? We can be sure that such a mechanism, if
>> available, would be used for copyright enforcement. What affects would
>> that have?
>> The author argues that ownership of personal data is critical to privacy
>> and goes from there.
>> cheers-
>> Matt
>> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/09/breaking_the_internet_no_property_no_privacy/
>> _______________________________________________
>> PET mailing list
>> PET at lists.links.org
>> http://lists.links.org/mailman/listinfo/pet
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