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Entries in Privacy (2)


Quantified Self: Privacy Risk

Here's a really stark piece in PandoDaily (a story aggregator about start ups, I think -- see here) about the risks of sharing personal health and other data via activity trackers, dietary logs, loyalty cards, social media check-ins, etc.  

You are your data: The scary future of the quantified self movement (via Pando Daily)

By Michael Carney On May 20, 2013Few if any consumers who fell behind on their credit card payments in the early 2000s thought that half a decade later employers would use their credit report to determine their job worthiness. Few avid social media…




This is a different, very interesting perspective on privacy. (You'll need to be a member of IEEE Computer Society or visit your local library to access the full text. If you're desperate, contact me.) 

 The thesis is that privacy is not just an individual's concern -- that is, that it's not just my problem were I to decide to expose/give away personal information -- but, rather, is a public good.

"Even when the individual would rather be transparent and open to security, exposure will affect others. Here are five ways in which that happens." 

  1. Accountability. "When people's privacy is diminished, the question about their responsibility for the outcomes of their actions becomes muddied, and the loser is wider society, not the people themselves." 
  2. Profiling. "When others forgo privacy, their data can create a stereotype against which a privacy-sensitive individual might be matched despite his or her attempts to maintain control." 
  3. Security. ". . . a loss of privacy can result immediately in a loss of security when data become public or are leaked." 
  4. Trading data. Markets function inefficiently when citizens don't know how their data will be used. 
  5. Chilling effects. "As privacy decreases, behavior will adapt. Even in the absence of overt censorship, people will experiment and innovate less, and express themselves less freely."