_ __ | |__ | | ___ __ _
| '_ \| '_ \| |/ _ \ / _` |
| |_) | | | | | (_) | (_| |
| .__/|_| |_|_|\___/ \__, |
|_| ...2018-04-12 |___/
On online privacy
In light of the recent "Facebook data leak scandal" I thought it'd be time to
voice my 2 cents on the subject..
Facebook is not a public utility
Facebook is Just Another Website (TM), and it seems to me, quite unfair that it
is being held to other standards than what that really warrents. Facebook does
not have "access to your private data", because whatever information you choose
to upload to "some other, privately owned, computer on the Internet" can per
definition not be private, otherwise you wouldn't choose to upload it in the
first place. Sure, Facebook (and all who Facebook share your data with) will
be able to infer something about you, based on the information you provide it.
This is true for all websites, it is a general fact. If you write, somewhere in
the public space, "I had a greath birthday party yesterday!" then anyone can
for example infer, based on the date, when you were born. Well.. Duh.
The first thing I remember learning about "being on the Internet" was to never
let anyone know who or where I was, we knew these things in the 90s.. It's not
a new thing.. Sure, I've chosen to break that rule, and my true identity is now
easily available online, and had I known now the true possible implications of
doing so, I would likely not have done it. But I did, and now I accept the fact
that I can be found online, I did that, nobody forced me, and it's nobodys
fault than my own, Whatever I've ever posted online, I've given up the right to
control that information, I gave up that right the second I let my machine send
the data out from my own network, and I've always known that to some degere.
What grinds my gears
About the Facebook hearings, is that there are even laws attempting to protect
people from their own idiocy, that people are attacking Zuckerberg for hosting
some website where everyone _CHOSE_ to put their stuff, I don't care if they
were under impression that somehow they would still be in control of the
data they uploaded, it's not the fault of the website that their users mistook
them for a public utility. Thing is, about choice..
I suggest classifying information based on the necessity to share it, so
that I get to draw beautiful ASCII tables..
| State | Absolutely required | Extremely private |
| Utility | Normally required | Private |
| Private | Not required | Public |
I want make the argument, that the privacy ofinformation shared does not depend
on acual information itself, but rather, on the situation that made it become
shared. A somewhat extreme (and actual example of this):
Police officer demands to know who owns the car car I drive, I'm no expert
and do not know if I'm actually obligated to comply, but, I assume that I am,
or that somehow, it can have less-than-ideal consequences for me if I chose not
to share, so I create a piece of shared information on the basis that it was
required. This makes the information extremely private, the police officer must
therefore limit to the fullest extent, this information, it must not be leaked.
Not because it becoming known by others would have any consequence for me, but
because I was required to share it. Ideally, that information should be
destroyed to the full extent as soon as it has been used for whichever purpose
it was required. An opposite example could be some random website, or a good
friend, asking me who I'm going to vote for, ensuring me that they won't tell
anyone else.. Now, it is actually not important if they promise not to share,
it also does not matter if they do share it, or if they legally are allowed to
share it.. It only matter if I am _required_ to provide it, which I am not, so
in case I do not provide the information, it stays in my head, thus private,
on the other hand, if I chose to share the information, even though I was not
required to do it, the information, in that instance, is not private.
Here are two distinct packages of information, which can exist at the same
time, or on any combination at once, but they must be considered distinct.
name: example information package 1
content: I am 32 years old
why was information created: a police officer asked me
privacy: extremely confidential
name: example information package 2
content: I am 32 years old
why was information created: a good friend asked me
Intersting things happens if the police-officer asks my friend, in case my
friend has no choice but to share his information (though it is public) then
my friends version stays public, but the information the police officer has,
would be extremely confidential, based on my friend having no choice but to
share it (if that is the case).
Facebook is optional
Just like all the other websites (excluding those run by state and utilities),
so stop whining, you gave them your information, live with it.