Privacy Papers, Part 10 – Tweaking The Rules to Fit Reality

The PrivacyPapers was released over a two week period of emails by Michael Kasdan, who has generously given us permission to post it in its entirety over several posts.

You can search Twitter: #PrivacyPapers, for the content and to share comments.

10. Privacy Papers – Tweaking The Rules to Fit Reality

From: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com [mailto:privacy-papers@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Kasdan
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: FW: Privacy Papers – Tweaking The Rules to Fit Reality

All-

John is getting squirmy and has politely asked me to change Rule No. 4.  I see no reason not to, so long as everyone gets to say their piece (Lisa, Nadim, Sanjay are all working furiously on responses as I write…) and the discussion does not become dominated by any one individual.  Unless that individual is me.

Rule No. 4 is hereby lifted for the duration of the exercise.  (That’s the one about not writing too many times before others respond…)

Please note, however, there will still be no throwing of pieces.

Best,
Mike

From: Lisa
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013 8:46 AM
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: FW: Privacy Papers – Tweaking The Rules to Fit Reality

“Lisa, Nadim, Sanjay are all working furiously on responses as I write…”

Nice piece of coercion, counselor: join the discussion or risk losing out to the squeaky wheels.

I’m furious and I’m working. Response to come today.

From: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com [mailto:privacy-papers@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Kasdan
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: FW: Privacy Papers – Tweaking The Rules to Fit Reality

Then I’m doing my job.  (At least someone is…)

MK

From: Nadim
Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2013 5:53 PM
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: FW: Privacy Papers – Tweaking The Rules to Fit Reality

Hi all,

I concur with the sentiment that I should have paid more attention in writing class.  Not sure I can keep up with you all.  I’ll try to keep my responses brief.  Quick background on me: I’m a computer engineer and coder, turned tech lawyer, turned business consultant, turned private equity investor, turned entrepreneur.  My main interest in joining this group has to do with the NSA’s monitoring of citizens’ internet traffic and I look forward to discuss that insanity when the time comes.

On question #1, from a practical commerce perspective we’ll never really be able pay for privacy on the Internet.  Business models have been too far refined over the past 10-15 years (and possibly over the past 25 years – think mail-order catalogues, newspaper subscriptions, etc) for us to be able to back away now.  The market is pricing based on consumer desires/needs: consumers want free stuff and they’re willing to give away their (whether knowingly or not) privacy for it.  I think the issue here is that consumers are unable to see how their data is being used (particularly on mobile devices where a different set of privacy norms are being applied) and that lack of transparency has to yet to freak the masses out.  Given the general apathy/lack of reaction to the NSA news, I’m not sure it will either.

That, and the ability for consumers to “opt-out”, is still the dominant answer.  I don’t think the opt-out argument holds as much water as it did, but a consumer could still live their lives without google or even the Internet if they wanted to.  The effectiveness of that argument is watered-down quite a bit by what feels like the omniscient presence of Google/Apple/amzn/MSFT – e.g., I may choose to get a private email address/host my own email servers, but if I communicate with someone using gmail, that emails gets recorded and used by google. But I don’t think we’ve hitting a tipping point yet here, so status quo will continue for quite some time.

[I wanted to also say something about that new “Elysium” like technology, but I can’t find that email – damn google search]

On #2, 4 for google, 7 for facebook and MSFT, not sure about AMZN, and 99 for the NSA.  See above for my rationale on the private companies.  Why 99 for NSA: history has proven over and over again that government will abuse its power.  Check out this insanity for proof

And I’m sure that’s just scratching the surface.

So much for being brief…
From: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com [mailto:privacy-papers@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Kasdan
Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2013
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: FW: Privacy Papers – Tweaking The Rules to Fit Reality

Interesting responses all!

You know who else would be *great* to get involved in this group – Sanjay and Lisa.  I’m going to invite them to participate.
Oh wait, I already did that.

🙂
Happy weekending . . .

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