Author Topic: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy  (Read 1329 times)

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Offline amysrevenge

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Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« on: August 07, 2018, 02:23:58 PM »
Here's the story that is prompting my post:

www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/cadillac-fairview-mall-location-tracking-1.4775990

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A Canadian real estate company already under investigation for using facial recognition technology in malls may also be tracking the movement of shoppers using mobile phones.
A former employee of Cadillac Fairview told CBC News he was aware of at least one of the company's Canadian shopping centres that had a system installed to track cellphone movement throughout the mall to collect market research data.

I'm still working out how I feel about this, and what is reasonable and what is unreasonable.

I guess it amounts to: what portion of the information that I transmit as I go about my day is "fair game"? 

By owning a cellphone that constantly emits all sorts of information, have I tacitly approved anyone with the wherewithal to collect that information to do so?  If I don't want that information to be collected, how much of the onus is on me to not emit it in the first place (ie. to not carry around the information emitting device, or to provide collectively enough demand for a cellphone that does not emit that information)?

I mean, it is trivial to make up all sorts of examples of cases where it would be unreasonable to expect a third party to not notice my presence or details about me (trivial example:  if I play loud music on my phone's external speaker, it would be unreasonable to expect nobody to hear it).  But trivial examples don't prove a general point.

Like I said, I'm still working out how I feel about this.  Does anyone have any ideas?
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Offline Skeptic1001

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2018, 05:35:37 AM »
Privacy protection is a huge subject of importance. Few programmers in business are truly dedicated to creating privacy online and nearly all of the largest internet corporations are disregarding privacy rights full tilt and can only be halted with force.

You just need to get use to that fact that you can't get a guarantee of confidentiality through the internet. This means you must adjust your usage to protect what you want protected. The internet has reduced the individual and increased dangers that weren't even perceivable before smartphones appeared. You need to be willing to risk and double invest and be a hell of a lot more careful than you ever thought you should need to be just to make it on the tech sector.

Sad world. Adapt.

Offline 2397

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2018, 01:26:11 PM »
It's all unreasonable (what the data collectors are doing), and the question is how to prevent and eliminate as much of it as possible. It's not done for your benefit, and there are no inherent rights for businesses to track people. If it was all made illegal and stopped, society would be better off.

Not having a right to privacy in the sense that people can see and hear you when you're out in public, is completely different from entities collecting data about all the things you do in public, permanently storing it and sharing that data with other entities. It's the difference between someone else seeing you in public once or twice, and that person stalking you wherever you go for the rest of your life.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2018, 01:29:40 PM by 2397 »

Offline bimble

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2018, 07:34:41 PM »
I did think that Ann Cavoukian's quote, 'It's nobody's business where you go and what stores you shop at' is a bit off the mark, as surely that IS a mall's business... to have stores that you go to and shop at... now the ethics of the various methods to do that...

Offline 2397

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2018, 03:53:41 AM »
It's not their business that you shop there, only that someone shops there. Once you're out of the store, that should be the end of their concerns, and next time you go there you should still just be someone, not linked up to a profile.

Unless you sign up for an account, which needs to be regulated in a way that allows you to end the relationship and delete all the data if you want to.

Offline CarbShark

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2018, 11:49:31 AM »
It's not their business that you shop there, only that someone shops there. Once you're out of the store, that should be the end of their concerns, and next time you go there you should still just be someone, not linked up to a profile.

Unless you sign up for an account, which needs to be regulated in a way that allows you to end the relationship and delete all the data if you want to.

Essentially you're asking for a new category of rights that we never had and and to  limit or take away the rights of others to gather, store and use information that's freely and legally available to them.

How would you enforce this? How would you ensure that when you walk into a place of business and make a purchase (or do the same online) the merchant is not privately collecting information about you that's freely available to them, and storing it and using it to advertise or for other legitimate purpose?

And what intrusion or infringement would this be preventing? How are they using this information to harm you?
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

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Online swan

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2018, 01:34:33 PM »
So if I happen to stop and have a ten-minute conversation outside a Cheesecake Factory I can expect my health insurance premiums to go up? Great. :(  I'm also not thrilled about the recent stories where medical devices send usage and other private medical information to the manufacturer and insurance companies by default. Oh, and gosh forbid you and some criminals happen to eat lunch at the same food court most weekdays… (I like to think that most judges are too smart for cockamamie stuff like that, but we've all been pretty disappointed before.)

It almost makes me want to buy a Guy Fawkes mask to wear in public, but then we'd find out they all have serialized RFID tags or near-infrared QR codes on them too. ;)

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2018, 02:17:57 PM »
I was once told by a shoe store that they couldn’t sell me a pair of shoes without my full address and phone number despite the fact that I was paying with cash.  That’s unreasonable. 
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Offline 2397

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2018, 03:27:45 PM »
Essentially you're asking for a new category of rights that we never had and and to  limit or take away the rights of others to gather, store and use information that's freely and legally available to them.

Doesn't have to mean new rights. Same as the right to privacy protects the right to abortion in the US, it could protect you from private companies creating a profile to map out who you are (including when you visit which hospitals and clinics, which can build a foundation for a very detailed medical and social profile, adding data from other "public" sources to it).

In any case, the laws need to keep up with new technologies and behaviors. It didn't use to be possible for a private company to monitor everyone everywhere, so we didn't need a law against it.

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How would you enforce this? How would you ensure that when you walk into a place of business and make a purchase (or do the same online) the merchant is not privately collecting information about you that's freely available to them, and storing it and using it to advertise or for other legitimate purpose?

Once you decide what the law should be, you can work out how to enforce it. But certainly having the law will make it easier to do something about it. It's happening out in the open today. Companies selling/sharing personal data that they've obtained (or sold/shared) without explicit consent would be easy to dish out punishments over, once it's known that they violate a law.

If they become more secretive about it, and knowingly violate the established law, the punishments need to be as severe as they have to be for the risk to outweigh the reward of not being caught.

Those who work with collecting data about individuals could be required to report that they do it, how they're implementing the required standards for privacy, and how they're preventing misuse of the data. Workers could be required to report violations, even be rewarded for reporting violations if they have to go the whistleblower route.

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And what intrusion or infringement would this be preventing? How are they using this information to harm you?

Manipulating democratic participation and votes is a big one, and that's already happened without any of the responsible parties facing significant consequences for it. At most, companies shut themselves down for PR reasons, only to immediately open up under a different name.

Insurance rates is another example, but once the data exists it can be used for whatever, including illicit purposes. The best defense against misuse is to stop the data from being stored in the first place.

They'll do whatever they can to make money off of you, until told/forced otherwise. Instead of asking what's the harm, you could ask what's the benefit of allowing someone to commercialize you independent of your knowing and willful participation? The rule could be that it's all outlawed unless it can be specifically argued in favor of, instead of everything being allowed until you make a case against it.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 05:14:02 PM by 2397 »

Offline CarbShark

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2018, 06:50:02 PM »
Essentially you're asking for a new category of rights that we never had and and to  limit or take away the rights of others to gather, store and use information that's freely and legally available to them.

Doesn't have to mean new rights. Same as the right to privacy protects the right to abortion in the US,


The only thing they have in common is the use of the word privacy, and even then it has different meanings.

In abortion rights it means freedom from interference from outside parties.

In the information sense it means free from being observed and free from public attention.

You have a right to not be interfered with by the government, according to Roe v. Wade.

But, yes, it would require an additional right for information that you make available to a third party not be kept and used by that third party (along with other information publicly available).  There is no right protecting you from that.
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it could protect you from private companies creating a profile to map out who you are (including when you visit which hospitals and clinics, which can build a foundation for a very detailed medical and social profile, adding data from other "public" sources to it).

You can now restrict how that information is shared with other parties, but I don't think you can restrict what someone does with information they gather from you or from public sources.

Quote

In any case, the laws need to keep up with new technologies and behaviors. It didn't use to be possible for a private company to monitor everyone everywhere, so we didn't need a law against it.
Quote
We still don't "need" a law against it. Some people perceive a harm from companies gathering information from public sources and from their own data, but and the imagine a huge potential for harm


Quote
How would you enforce this? How would you ensure that when you walk into a place of business and make a purchase (or do the same online) the merchant is not privately collecting information about you that's freely available to them, and storing it and using it to advertise or for other legitimate purpose?

Quote
Once you decide what the law should be, you can work out how to enforce it. But certainly having the law will make it easier to do something about it. It's happening out in the open today. Companies selling/sharing personal data that they've obtained (or sold/shared) without explicit consent would be easy to dish out punishments over, once it's known that they violate a law.

I believe that is already restricted in some areas. Not totally.




They'll do whatever they can to make money off of you, until told/forced otherwise. Instead of asking what's the harm, you could ask what's the benefit of allowing someone to commercialize you independent of your knowing and willful participation? The rule could be that it's all outlawed unless it can be specifically argued in favor of, instead of everything being allowed until you make a case against it.

You want to restrict someone else's right to use legally gathered information. I think "what's the harm?" is exactly what the question should be.

And the idea that you criminalize all use of information unless an exception is made is absurd.
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2018, 07:15:24 PM »
Google seems to agree that people have a right to privacy in public unless they’ve implicitly consented by using their search engine to find information on the internet.  Their Google Maps blurs peoples’ faces and cars’ number plates in street view preventing a person’s location at some undisclosed time in the past being determined.

People buying products, and the sellers using this information to sell more products, is similar to Google using people’s web searching information.  Using cell phones and face recognition to track people is similar (but more marked) to being able to identify someone on Google Maps, which Google doesn’t do.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2018, 07:24:43 PM »
There's a very sinister free-market bent to tech, especially with the notion that if you can collect it in a way that isn't illegal yet it's your right to do whatever you want with it, including selling it to other people. The very basic consumer protections we've enacted come from recognizing that companies often behave in ways that are unethical. For example, everyone knows that nobody is reading an entire EULA, much less the EULA changes each time. Regulating what can be done with consumer information is not taking away the rights of the next generation of hucksters, it's enacting another layer of consumer protection to keep people from acting against their own self-interest in a way that's not necessarily immediately apparent.
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Offline CarbShark

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2018, 07:35:09 PM »
There's a very sinister free-market bent to tech, especially with the notion that if you can collect it in a way that isn't illegal yet it's your right to do whatever you want with it, including selling it to other people. The very basic consumer protections we've enacted come from recognizing that companies often behave in ways that are unethical. For example, everyone knows that nobody is reading an entire EULA, much less the EULA changes each time. Regulating what can be done with consumer information is not taking away the rights of the next generation of hucksters, it's enacting another layer of consumer protection to keep people from acting against their own self-interest in a way that's not necessarily immediately apparent.


What's the difference between a company legally getting your picture in a public place then using using your picture to legally make money; and a newspaper, or TV station taking your photo in a public place and making money by publishing it without your permission?
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2018, 07:42:13 PM »
If we're talking about reasonable expectation, there's no reasonable expectation of privacy when you are out in public, and especially when you are in a privately owned place like a mall or a store.

I imagine there's probably something in the fine print of your cell phone contract that gives the cell phone carrier the right to do what it likes with the information your phone transmits. Is it fair or reasonable that they can do this? Not at all. But as long as we choose to run our economy as a free market, companies can and will make money any way they can. I give Google the right to monitor the location of my phone because they give me free services using that information. Google Maps and Chrome web searches for "X near me."

I don't like it that other companies, who provide me no useful services, can monetize information about me. But I've got much bigger concerns than that. Compared to poverty, climate change, and woo-woo non-medicine, the privacy of my phone location doesn't even register.
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Offline CarbShark

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Re: Reasonable Expectations of Privacy
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2018, 07:49:49 PM »
If we're talking about reasonable expectation, there's no reasonable expectation of privacy when you are out in public, and especially when you are in a privately owned place like a mall or a store.

Exactly. And as long as they gather public information legally, they can legally use it or sell it. If they're collecting information from you as a course of doing business there may be restrictions on how it can be used, but not a lot.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 08:13:58 PM by CarbShark »
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.