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Thread: Should people have proprietary interests in their personal data?

  1. #31
    Cricketer Of The Year Ausage's Avatar
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    Yeah we're not even at the point where we can accurately define what personal data is. The obvious stuff is pretty straight forward (name/address/dob etc), but notionally unidentifiable data points can be synthesised in such a way to identify people pretty easily. Browsing history is the most obvious example, but physical proportions, how you type and loads of other seemingly innocuous pieces of information can be used to identify you with a pretty high level of accuracy.

    https://www.itnews.com.au/news/your-...dentity-450359
    https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/201...ow-to-stop-it/

    How would individual right to property over a specific combination of sites accessed at specific times of the day or a specific pattern of key strokes even be possible?
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgey View Post
    Very interesting topic this. First thought is yes, people should. Sledger will have a better idea as to developments in the law on this. Historically, for example, a photographer owns the rights to a photo taken by them. The law may need to move along on this a fair bit quicker than it normally does on developments in technology (ie, glacially) and how to deal with the platforms which retain and disseminate the info.
    I wonder if James sells our info to Chinese companies.
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  3. #33
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    Many of us have this perception that things on the internet should be free.

    When you think about it, Google Search (or other good search engines), maps, images, email, wikipedia, youtube, cricinfo etc are amazing and brilliant services that should really be charging people money.

    These ads are the price we pay, and I find it hard to complain if they take a bit of my data to show me a targeted ad. I mean they were going to show me an ad regardless, so why not something relevant?
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  4. #34
    International Coach straw man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
    Many of us have this perception that things on the internet should be free.

    When you think about it, Google Search (or other good search engines), maps, images, email, wikipedia, youtube, cricinfo etc are amazing and brilliant services that should really be charging people money.
    Agree with this - people sign up to services such as Facebook at no monetary cost, in exchange for massive amounts of their own data, which is worth money to the service provider. As with most things privacy and risk related, it's only some time later that some might have reason to regret providing certain data.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
    These ads are the price we pay, and I find it hard to complain if they take a bit of my data to show me a targeted ad. I mean they were going to show me an ad regardless, so why not something relevant?
    Partly agree, though the extent to which you can be profiled, tracked and targeted has grown by an order of magnitude - it's a grey area but it does make me a little uneasy e.g. that Google Maps tracks all your movements.


  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
    Many of us have this perception that things on the internet should be free.

    When you think about it, Google Search (or other good search engines), maps, images, email, wikipedia, youtube, cricinfo etc are amazing and brilliant services that should really be charging people money.

    These ads are the price we pay, and I find it hard to complain if they take a bit of my data to show me a targeted ad. I mean they were going to show me an ad regardless, so why not something relevant?
    While I don't disagree with your sentiment, the problem is the pervasiveness of these big sites. Particularly FB and big brother (google).

    When I go down to the pub and order a beer, the waitress does not ask me to sign a form and take note of which beer I ordered. There is things I do everyday some of which would not bother me if people knew about, other things which I consider personal/private and should only be known by a few people.

    Looking at the internet, we have gone onto these platforms quite innocently and started socializing and using forums and media to interact, in an almost very similar manner to what we do in everyday life. We use it for information, studies etc. But we have probably been a bit more relaxed because we are sitting in our home, which in our minds implicitly means what we do is private, or so subconsciously we may think. Now, without much knowledge of how much information we give away everyday, we have companies literally taking note of everything. I`m not saying that they will use this information nefariously but they have the information, and we have no control over it, it exists, by the time we ever find out how it is being used it is too late.

    So what happens if your boss, future employee, police, media, ex-girlfriend/wife decides that by buying/obtaining this information they can extort, embarrass just make somebodies elses life ****... where if you controlled this information, or FB/google had to ask permission in a more robust manner (not the silly terms and conditions that nobody reads!) to sell, provide etc then I would feel more comfortable. Ultimately it is purely about lack of knowledge on how much info they have, who has access to it and what rights does everybody have to control it? If all they are using it for is to target the 'Thor' trailer at me rather than the latest teen romance, no probs. Start targeting local psychologists because I am having issues with depression and used an online support group, not gonna like that.


    Some interesting stuff:
    https://www.wired.com/2014/06/everyt...ve-experiment/
    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...y-herod-clause
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.84d49ab379c8
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  6. #36
    Global Moderator harsh.ag's Avatar
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    Think all these companies should begin providing an option for a monthly/annual fees which you can pay and have none of your personal data used for anything. People who don't take this option end up implicitly pricing their privacy. Ideally they should vary the fees depending on your income (which could be approximated by a variety of ways). This lets them make money off the less well-off as well who wouldn't be giving them a lot of revenues anyway.
    Last edited by harsh.ag; 08-11-2017 at 10:59 PM.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by benchmark00 View Post
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  8. #38
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    BTW, I just discovered a couple of days back that on the iPhone Health app, you can record your Sexual Activity(protected/unprotected), Cervical Mucus Quality, etc.

    How thoughtful of the good folks at Apple..

  9. #39
    Cricketer Of The Year StephenZA's Avatar
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    Ironically enough, one of the biggest benefits to all this personal data running around is the health studies that are now able to be done on large numbers of people...

  10. #40
    Cricketer Of The Year Ausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vcs View Post
    BTW, I just discovered a couple of days back that on the iPhone Health app, you can record your Sexual Activity(protected/unprotected), Cervical Mucus Quality, etc.

    How thoughtful of the good folks at Apple..
    Pretty useful if you're attempting to have children.

  11. #41
    Evil Scotsman Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenZA View Post
    While I don't disagree with your sentiment, the problem is the pervasiveness of these big sites. Particularly FB and big brother (google).

    When I go down to the pub and order a beer, the waitress does not ask me to sign a form and take note of which beer I ordered. There is things I do everyday some of which would not bother me if people knew about, other things which I consider personal/private and should only be known by a few people.

    Looking at the internet, we have gone onto these platforms quite innocently and started socializing and using forums and media to interact, in an almost very similar manner to what we do in everyday life. We use it for information, studies etc. But we have probably been a bit more relaxed because we are sitting in our home, which in our minds implicitly means what we do is private, or so subconsciously we may think. Now, without much knowledge of how much information we give away everyday, we have companies literally taking note of everything. I`m not saying that they will use this information nefariously but they have the information, and we have no control over it, it exists, by the time we ever find out how it is being used it is too late.

    So what happens if your boss, future employee, police, media, ex-girlfriend/wife decides that by buying/obtaining this information they can extort, embarrass just make somebodies elses life ****... where if you controlled this information, or FB/google had to ask permission in a more robust manner (not the silly terms and conditions that nobody reads!) to sell, provide etc then I would feel more comfortable. Ultimately it is purely about lack of knowledge on how much info they have, who has access to it and what rights does everybody have to control it? If all they are using it for is to target the 'Thor' trailer at me rather than the latest teen romance, no probs. Start targeting local psychologists because I am having issues with depression and used an online support group, not gonna like that.


    Some interesting stuff:
    https://www.wired.com/2014/06/everyt...ve-experiment/
    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...y-herod-clause
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.84d49ab379c8
    Wrt your pub analogy, if the pub was tracking when you entered the premises and what you tended to order, they could use that information to provide better service, and use info on your spending habits to tailor offers to you.
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  12. #42
    Cricketer Of The Year StephenZA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball View Post
    Wrt your pub analogy, if the pub was tracking when you entered the premises and what you tended to order, they could use that information to provide better service, and use info on your spending habits to tailor offers to you.
    I'm not denying the usefulness, "where everybody knows your name.".... its more about knowing what they are doing with it; and unless I`m very close to the waitress she is unlikely to know any personal data about me, beyond what is required for ordering my beer. Unless the pub wants to start matchmaking and bring in the sort of girls I like!

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    Yeah we're not even at the point where we can accurately define what personal data is. The obvious stuff is pretty straight forward (name/address/dob etc), but notionally unidentifiable data points can be synthesised in such a way to identify people pretty easily. Browsing history is the most obvious example, but physical proportions, how you type and loads of other seemingly innocuous pieces of information can be used to identify you with a pretty high level of accuracy.

    https://www.itnews.com.au/news/your-...dentity-450359
    https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/201...ow-to-stop-it/

    How would individual right to property over a specific combination of sites accessed at specific times of the day or a specific pattern of key strokes even be possible?
    I don't disagree, but so far as the law in the EU is concerned all of the things you mention are "personal data", and their use is regulated as such. Like you allude to, "data that can be used to identify you" is an ever-expanding concept, which raises questions about the normative value of the concept itself for the reasons you state. It's another limb of the property rights in personal data debate, but there's definitely an argument that the whole notion of personal data should be done away with, and instead of targeting laws at information that identifies individuals, instead they should be targeted at specific types of data uses instead.

  14. #44
    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
    Many of us have this perception that things on the internet should be free.

    When you think about it, Google Search (or other good search engines), maps, images, email, wikipedia, youtube, cricinfo etc are amazing and brilliant services that should really be charging people money.

    These ads are the price we pay, and I find it hard to complain if they take a bit of my data to show me a targeted ad. I mean they were going to show me an ad regardless, so why not something relevant?
    Yeah, I am sure this is the attitude of many, and I don't mean to cause offence when I say this, but this is ultimately very naive.

    Individually many of the pieces of information Facebook collects about you might be benign, but when collated and cross referenced with other data the possibilities are incredibly extensive. The information you provide Facebook has been shown to be capable of identifying people's sexuality, political and religious affiliations, credit worthiness, health problems, and other sensitive info, despite none of it ever being volunteered to Facebook itself. It is all inferred based on predictive analytics, but is done with a very high degree of sophistication and accuracy. If this stuff was used only for the purposes of advertising it would maybe be ok, but it's not, and nobody really knows what happens to this info after Facebook shares it with other parties. In the wrong hands, this info could really be used to screw you over, badly.

    Similarly, despite the above predicitions about a person's identity usually being accurate, they are still just that, predictions, and they can be wrong. An oft used example is as follows:

    Person A goes on Facebook, and uses the messenger function to speak to Person B about the fact that Person B has cancer.

    Person A then goes on Google and searches for life insurance for Person C (who, let's say is an elderly relative).

    Facebook and Google then collate this information (i.e. the fact that Person A has used the terms "cancer" and "life insurance"), and wrongly identify that Person A has a serious illness and is looking for health insurance, and is thus a bad credit risk.

    This information then ends up in the hand of an insurer or a bank or something, who then ramp up their premiums massively for Person A, and Person A is totally boned, completely unfairly and through no fault of their own.

    Edit: As Stephen has said, none of this is to deny the usefulness of what personal data can be used for. It's just to highlight the fact that there are some really concerning possibilities out there, and that it's not "all just about advertising".
    Last edited by sledger; 09-11-2017 at 01:27 AM.

  15. #45
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    I remember that story a few weeks back about the image recognition algorithm that could predict whether you were gay or not. It was the source of much amusement, mostly because it didn't work that well and even then only with white people, but that kind of thing is pretty disturbing IMO.
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