Privacy Papers, Part 17 – The Individual Angle – The Right to Delete

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.

17. Privacy Papers – The Individual Angle – The Right to Delete

From: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com [mailto:privacy-papers@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Chana
Sent: Sunday, August 25, 2013 10:07 PM
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: Privacy Papers – The Individual Angle

hi all — another angle worth considering, aside from the commercial side, is how online privacy affects interpersonal relationships that don’t involve money.

Now that the past lives forever on the internet, it’s very hard to reinvent yourself, or to present just one side of yourself in a new situation like a new job or a new school.

As an alumni college interviewer, I have a personal policy never to Google my interviewees or their parents until I’ve interviewed the student and submitted my written report to the admissions office. I feel it’s only fair to let the student present himself in whichever light he chooses in the interview, and I don’t want whatever I read about him to color my views.
It’s now expected that people will answer the phone with the name of the person who’s calling them (“Hey, Chana!”) because it’s assumed that all cell phones have caller ID. I’d wager that we’re moving toward a time when it’s assumed that everyone has already read, or will read, everything that appears on the internet about you. Thanks, Zillow.

Cheers, Chana

From: Michael Kasdan
Sent: Sunday, August 25, 2013
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: Privacy Papers – The Individual Angle

Good angle.  Totally true…I read an article once about the ability to delete information/data about oneself being an important “right.”

MK

From: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com [mailto:privacy-papers@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Kasdan
Sent: Sunday, August 25, 2013
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: Privacy Papers – The Individual Angle – The Right to Delete

Found it:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/apr/04/right-erasure-protects-freedom-forget-past

And the other side of the debate:  http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2013/06/20/2003565206

From: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com [mailto:privacy-papers@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Kasdan
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: Privacy Papers – Right to Delete Tangent..

***This message will self-destruct in 5-4-3-2-***

Finishing up that thought, here is what I was thinking of – but couldn’t put my hands on- re: the right to delete/forget.

Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age

DELETE argues that in our quest for perfect digital memories where we can store everything from recipes and family photographs to work emails and personal information, we’ve put ourselves in danger of losing a very human quality—the ability and privilege of forgetting. Our digital memories have become double-edged swords—we expect people to “remember” information that is stored in their computers, yet we also may find ourselves wishing to “forget” inappropriate pictures and mis-addressed emails. And, as Mayer-Schönberger demonstrates, it is becoming harder and harder to “forget” these things as digital media becomes more accessible and portable and the lines of ownership blur (see the recent Facebook controversy over changes to their user agreement).

Mayer-Schönberger examines the technology that’s facilitating the end of forgetting—digitization, cheap storage and easy retrieval, global access, and increasingly powerful software—and proposes an ingeniously simple solution: expiration dates on information.”

Trailer for Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age

Best,
Mike

From: John
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 12:34 PM
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Privacy Papers – Right to Delete Tangent..

Thought this Kickstarter project would be of interest to the group – The Off Pocket – put your phone in, no signals/tracking get in or out.

From: Kevin
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 11:29 AM
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Privacy Papers – Right to Delete Tangent..

Seems like an argument for Snapchat type functionality for every little bit of data you send/receive or that is stored about you.

From: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com [mailto:privacy-papers@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 12:38 PM
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Privacy Papers – Right to Delete Tangent.

And it would be nice if it were provable that the data has been destroyed.  For example, I don’t trust that snapchat would actually delete the data about me, even if they don’t make it visible to other people.  I think snapchat provides a false sense of security.

From: Lisa
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 1:58 PM
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Privacy Papers – Right to Delete Tangent..

I don’t know that creating go-arounds for data collection & storage, or disposal, are the answer….we are too interconnected now, I think, to go down that path.

My full response to your original questions to come today, Mike. I’ve been enjoying the discussion and have a few things to add.

From: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com [mailto:privacy-papers@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Lisa
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 2:44 PM
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Privacy Papers – Right to Delete Tangent..
I don’t know that creating go-arounds for data retrieval & storage are the answer….we are too interconnected, I think, to go down that path. I also have a great disdain for industries created with the sole purpose of solving problems created by other industries. Just fix the original problem!

My full response to your original questions to come today, Mike. I’ve been enjoying the discussion and everyone has contributed very thoughtful ideas.

Meanwhile, here’s a great collection of NSA related items from ProPublica, that they call the “NSA Surveillance Lawsuit Tracker”. My favorite headline, “NSA Says It Can’t Search Its Own Emails”

From: John
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 3:19 PM
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Cc: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Privacy Papers – Right to Delete Tangent..

The original problem, to your point, is too vast to fix by a few companies alone. It’s about choke points for data and information and who controls it.

The new industry forming around data banking etc is in reaction to Google/FB being those choke points. But if we lose control of our data altogether, it’s sort of game over. As a digital citizen, Google/FB etc are not a government, as scary as NSA practices are.  They don’t have to respond as a government is supposed to.

And it is too late, I agree, to simply stop using a service because of your concerns. Too many other people use those services who also influence you. The metaphor of leaving the US if you don’t like certain laws is not hyperbolic re leaving Google or FB.

The only way I’ve found to embrace these services I like and use is this data vaulting idea. Do I think it’s a long shot? Yup. Is it hard to convince people to try? Yup. Has anyone else put forward an idea (not in this group but in my research) that provides a pragmatic way for a person to manage their data? Not that I’ve heard of. And it’s too late to just discuss these issues IMO. We need to offer informed alternatives to the broken status quo.

From: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com [mailto:privacy-papers@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Kasdan
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: Privacy Papers – Right to Delete Tangent..
…but let’s start by just discussing it, shall we?

#PrivacyPapers

!!! 🙂

From: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com [mailto:privacy-papers@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Kasdan
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013
To: privacy-papers@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: Privacy Papers – Right to Delete Tangent..

But the serious question, if I may, is what are the informed alternatives to the status quo that are actually attractive to consumers – er, I mean people (hate it when that happens) – as well as the businesses creating these services???

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