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May 30th, 2007
06:26 pm
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Date:May 31st, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
> "Please opt me out of your spam"

I wasn't trying to make a point about negligence, I was trying to make a point about opt-out. Let's say that spammers' opt-out links really did work and that everybody honored it. Opt-out STILL wouldn't be a solution to spam. If every company on Earth got even one free e-mail to send to you before they had to start honoring your requests, you could be deluged with millions of legal pieces of spam (even assuming you took the time to opt out of every single one), and every time a new business started, there we go again.

Extend this to please-remove-my-picture-from-your-database. Unless you have omniscient, perfect knowledge of every picture of you ever taken, and where and when it will be posted, there will be legal postings that infringe on your privacy. That's inescapable.

>> then whose fault is the theft
> ... The crooks'?

Touché. :)

But there is a growing body of case law that outlines responsibilities for people that collect your personal data. To use a physical analogy, if you have a contract with Acmeco to store your CD collection, and they leave it out on a sidewalk overnight, and it gets stolen ... yes, technically it's the thief's fault, but Acmeco acted negligently and so contributed to the theft.

The lines for responsibility over data are still being drawn, but I think we'll see them being defined in the next decade, and I really can't say whether they'll have any public benefit to them.

> the original furor over Google Maps (before it added the satellite photos)

O_o; Furor over Google Maps before the satellite photos? WTF? So basically people were objecting to the same street maps that you could pick up at any gas station across the country?

That makes no sense to me. On the other hand, street view (historically speaking) is a genuinely new service. We don't have any precedent for this, except for a few years of Youtube, Flickr et.al. Street View doesn't contribute much more than a phone book, but it does push the boundaries of the public sphere outward; you can't say that about mere maps.

That doesn't mean it's appropriate to panic, but I think there's legitimate room for concern. Shrugging this off is a perfectly defensible reaction, and hell, time may/will even prove you right; but I feel justified in mentioning my disquiet.
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