Showing posts with label privacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label privacy. Show all posts
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Regulating Google

Sunday, September 2, 2007

An article from the economist said that Google has made publishers, telecom companies, libertarian and privacy defenders worried (if not 'upset'). I would put news agencies on the list.

So far however, the article said, Google is clean. No violations of copyright laws nor competition laws. The alchilles heel might be on privacy law.

Supposed google failed (either deliberately or by omission) to show my blog in its search results, or it reduces my page rank unfairly, on what bases can I sue Google, other than through their Terms of Services?

BTW, here's an excerpt from the economist's article:
Ironically, there is something rather cloudlike about the multiple complaints surrounding Google. The issues are best parted into two cumuli: a set of “public” arguments about how to regulate Google; and a set of “private” ones for Google's managers, to do with the strategy the firm needs to get through the coming storm. On both counts, Google—contrary to its own propaganda—is much better judged as being just like any other “evil” money-grabbing company.
Google is a capitalist tool, I agree. But it represents the new form of capitalism. The legal infrastructure we have today regulates the 'old' capitalism. It may not be adequate to 'catch' google.


Privacy is dead?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Have a look at Mike Treder's post titled "Is Privacy Overrated?" here:

We agreed with author, scholar, and transparency advocate David Brin, who asserts that we are not required to choose between freedom and security; that, in fact, history shows us that the most open or "transparent" societies -- those with the least emphasis on secrecy and control -- also are the safest.
I have the impression that law and economics scholars tends to restrict privacy uses for economical purposes, hence, privacy is protected insofar as the total outcome of its protection outweighed its costs of protections. Secondly, privacy shall not be protected if it hinders people to commence beneficial economic transactions. Posner said in his blog:
The particular concern I have with defenders of privacy arises when they argue for legal rights to blanket concealment not of communications, and not of embarrassing facts, but of facts that would be material to the willingness of other persons to transact with the concealer on terms favorable to him.
Posner seemed to defend organizational value of privacy (in terms of trade secret, for example) compared to its individual value. (I must put a note here, that I doubted that protecting privacy in organizations is all good, if they are too much protected, then it can also hamper developments.)

From the human rights approach, privacy is also troublesome. Is privacy a sub-right or a fundamental human rights? I think privacy could be an interrelation between the two. Not all concepts under privacy rights are negative rights.

See my previous discussion on this issue here.

Nanotechnology shifts social convention

Saturday, June 2, 2007

That was explained by Chris Mac Donald in his Health Law Review paper. Here's a quote:
Cheap, high-quality, unobtrusive surveillance equipment of the kind promised by nanotechnology is likely to lower the costs, and increase the benefits, of invading other people’s privacy. We can reasonably expect that the availability of such technology will make it harder to maintain current privacy conventions. You and your neighbours may thus become tempted to shift from a pattern of behaviour under which you both respect each other’s privacy to a pattern under which you both invade each other’s privacy. After all, you’re both likely at least to be tempted to eavesdrop or sneak a peek, once in a while; and besides (or so you may reason), if your neighbour is likely snooping, why shouldn’t you too? Nanotechnology, then, may work to corrode extant social conventions – ethically useful social standards – associated with privacy.
Read the full paper yourself here.


CCTV Drones: cheap and effective

Monday, May 21, 2007

From the BBC News:

Britain's first remote control police aircraft, dubbed the "spy drone", took to the skies today.

The unmanned CCTV drone, which measures only a metre wide, is fitted with the latest in CCTV cameras and can record images from a height of 500m.

It was originally designed for military reconnaissance but is being used in a trial by Merseyside police to monitor public disorder, large crowds and traffic congestion. The force will also be looking at how the drone could be used during firearms operations and in efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour.

Im telling you, privacy is expensive! At least, you have to carry an umbrella to get away from this primitive drone, and carrying an umbrella is a 'cost'. Imagine how small and cheap the drones can be if it is made using nanotech.

The cheaper the surveillance devices, the more expensive privacy will become.

The Value of Privacy

Saturday, May 19, 2007

In my previous posts, I have argued that privacy has a value, and therefore might need to be taxed. My argument was that in the future, it would be difficult to obtain privacy, given the development of sensor devices. Thus, protecting privacy would require an effort that costs money and only the rich would be able to do so. This is why it need to be taxed.

Well, here's a link to an HBS paper discussing the value of privacy.

I assure you the the concept of privacy valuation would be important for the future. Can't wait to see it showing up on the balance sheet ;)

How can privacy be valued? Read it yourself.

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Europe entering the 'Internet of Things'

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I will go to Hannover to attend this year's CeBIT. And guess what I really plan to see: RFID stands!

I want to know what the latest RFID gadget can do and how the tech will affect regulation. The European Union has just recently unveiled its future RFID strategy and policies:
The Commission, in particular, proposes to address the privacy concerns of citizens to boost consumer confidence and Europe's position in a market experiencing 60% growth globally.
RFID Law is just beginning to evolve. Its orbit: health and environmental issues, freqency allocation and, our favourite subject, the internet of things. The EU's COM stated:
In the responses to the online questionnaire, 86% of respondents were concerned that the system for registering and naming of identities in the future "Internet of Things" should be interoperable, open and non-discriminatory.
Oh, in case you are not yet informed what internet of things means, it means that we can virtually hyperlink anything we have in the real world to the internet and locate them. That way I won't lose my keys anymore. If you want a start up info on this subject wikipedia is glad to help.

If you will be in Hannover on March 21st (that's, the last day of CeBIT), email me!


RFID in Indonesia

Monday, March 12, 2007

I received an email alert from RFID Asia that it will open a branch in Indonesia. This means that RFID market may grow rapidly in Indonesia. In the near future, there might be demands for regulation on the utilisation of RFID.

To get a glimpse on how technology such as RFID affects privacy in the future, have a look on my JP article archived by Kerry B Collison here.

ps: It was written before the "Maria Eva" scandal ;)


Putting a tax on privacy

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Hey, anything valuable is taxable. In my previous post, I talked about "privacy gap":
A growing "privacy gap" is the third problem. In the future, privacy is going to be expensive. You can protect an RFID tag, for example, by using passwords to make access difficult. You can do something similar with satellite imagery. If you do not want your roof or swimming pool to be photographed, you need to shield them, but it will cost you money. This means privacy will eventually belong only to the wealthy.
Now I have an idea, why not put tax on privacy. As privacy is something valuable in the future, tax it! Call it "privacy tax" ;)


Sousveillance in new york

Friday, January 19, 2007

NY Mayor Bloomberg announced opening 911 emergency call for on the spot video transmission to the authorities on ongoing criminal activities.

Sounds like a you tube version for crime, at least for the Court. Bloomberg said:

"If you see a crime in progress or a dangerous building condition, you'll be able to transmit images to 911," Bloomberg said in disclosing the proposal yesterday during his annual State of the City speech.

The mayor said the high-tech initiative is "something no other city in the world is doing" and would be extended to 311, the city's non-emergency hot line.

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2007 Legal Predictions: What is HOT?

Thursday, January 4, 2007

No computer as a legal subject, no determining your child using copyright, no international law on online games, we only talk about 2007 not 2030. What's going to be hot? Jennifer Granick wrote in Wired that (i) contract law and (ii) privacy law will be the two hot topics for 2007.:
Free speech and fair use don't mean much if software end user license agreements, or EULAs, or website terms of service, or TOS, can take those rights away. Contract law allows private parties to agree to forgo most rights in exchange for some privilege. Vendors of goods and services take advantage of modern contracting tools, like click-through or shrink-wrap, to impose terms and conditions on using software or websites. These documents purport to limit the user's legal rights.

Two things have changed. First, it's no longer acceptable only to catch criminals during or after a crime has been committed. Counter-terrorism requires identifying and neutralizing threats ahead of time. Second, collecting information about everyone is now much cheaper and easier than it used to be. We spread information about ourselves as we use the internet, shop online, talk on our cell phones, send e-mail or use electricity. These activities leave a digital trail that database and search technology can store and access relatively inexpensively.
Privacy has been quite a debate in 2006, both for lawyers and non lawyers. Futurist such as Brin had invented the concept of "Transparent Society"and Cascio introduced the "Participatory Panopticon". For the lawyers, Posner's books "Uncertain Shield: The U.S. Intelligence System in the Throes of Reform" and Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency both discusses privacy issues as an inevetable aspect of law enforcement. I think these thoughts contributes significantly to the privacy legal debate in 2007.

I agree with her analysis on online contracts. Even lawyers wouldn't bother spending time to study the content of online contracts. Thus, following this, another aspects of law will arise: consumer protection and competition law.

You can read the whole thing here.

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Nanosensors and privacy question

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Another example why privacy would be futile to be preserved:

Co-Leader of QUT's Applied Optics Program Dr Dmitri Gramotnev said his research had discovered special metallic structures called plasmonic waveguides that could focus light into nanoscale regions, unachievable in conventional optics. These structures may allow detection and identification of extremely small amounts of substances, even separate molecules in the air. "This type of system could revolutionise airport security, air quality monitoring and forensic investigation," he said.

Welcome to to the naked society! Privacy would be expensive, only the rich may enjoy.