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[liberationtech] Flaming Google

Michael Rogers michael at briarproject.org
Fri May 31 09:06:51 PDT 2013


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On 31/05/13 16:01, Travis McCrea wrote:
> Services should have the option (as Google does) to pay for a 
> service, and not have to take part in advertising. I would love to 
> pay Facebook $5 a month, and not have any ads and no tracking.

Thought experiment: if you paid Facebook $5 to stop tracking you, what
information would you expect them to stop collecting?

It seems to me that a lot of the information they collect - such as
interactions with other Facebook users, or visits to sites displaying
Facebook buttons - involves communication between you and other
parties. It's not clear that you have a right to prevent those other
parties from disclosing that information to Facebook. So even if
Facebook were to agree not to collect data _from_ you, they could
still collect data _about_ you from those other parties - and thanks
very much for the $5.

The problem is that much of the information we consider private
involves relations between two or more parties, so it can't be treated
as any one party's personal property. You can't sell your privacy to
Facebook, or stop selling it to Facebook, because there's no distinct
entity called "your privacy" - it's inseparable from the privacy of
everyone you interact with.

I think we need to move beyond the conception of privacy as an
individual property right and recognise it as a collective right and a
collective responsibility. We can't buy our privacy back individually.

Cheers,
Michael
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