Thu 20 Jun 2019 3:28AM

Ambient privacy and conservation of the digital wilderness

DS Danyl Strype Public Seen by 21

"Ambient privacy is particularly hard to protect where it extends into social and public spaces outside the reach of privacy law. If I’m subjected to facial recognition at the airport, or tagged on social media at a little league game, or my public library installs an always-on Alexa microphone, no one is violating my legal rights. But a portion of my life has been brought under the magnifying glass of software. Even if the data harvested from me is anonymized in strict conformity with the most fashionable data protection laws, I’ve lost something by the fact of being monitored.

One can argue that ambient privacy is a relic of an older world, just like the ability to see the stars in the night sky was a pleasant but inessential feature of the world before electricity. This is the argument Mr. Zuckerberg made when he unilaterally removed privacy protections from every Facebook account back in 2010. Social norms had changed, he explained at the time, and Facebook was changing with them. Presumably now they have changed back.

My own suspicion is that ambient privacy plays an important role in civic life. When all discussion takes place under the eye of software, in a for-profit medium working to shape the participants’ behavior, it may not be possible to create the consensus and shared sense of reality that is a prerequisite for self-government. If that is true, then the move away from ambient privacy will be an irreversible change, because it will remove our ability to function as a democracy ...

We’re at the point where we need a similar shift in perspective in our privacy law. The infrastructure of mass surveillance is too complex, and the tech oligopoly too powerful, to make it meaningful to talk about individual consent. Even experts don’t have a full picture of the surveillance economy, in part because its beneficiaries are so secretive, and in part because the whole system is in flux. Telling people that they own their data, and should decide what to do with it, is just another way of disempowering them."


pilotfever Sat 15 Feb 2020 5:35AM

I am now a potential candidate for New Zealand First.

I encourage you all to support my endeavor to bring Technology Politics back to the fore in 2020 by joining New Zealand First and donating to my campaign.

I am currently doing my flight instructor rating building on a Commercial Pilot License I obtained in 2005, and a Private Pilot License from Canterbury Aeroclub in 2002.

I am a PADI divemaster and former RNZN officer, and once occupied an executive position on the board of the Internet Party.

I am a former Christ's College scholar, and got my undergraduate from the University of Canterbury and directed my first registered startup company, a Linux consultancy ITExperienced.co.nz Ltd in the city from 1999.

I currently live in Golden Bay (Tasman West Coast) where we have a family Dairy farm, and believe in fairer taxation for all.

I am well travelled and besides New Zealand have been employed in Germany/US, Australia and China.

I am an entrepreneur and technology politics professional.

I was most recently employed by Victoria University of Wellington as a research assistant and computer science tutor, besides directing my second registered startup company, RealWorld Reality Virtualised for the Real You Limited, and teaching English in mainland China as a Foreign expert, more than a year and a half ago!

I believe in sustainable immigration, immigration at a rate with which our infrastructure can keep up.