Monday, January 28, 2013

"An Englishman's Data is his Chattel"


"An Englishman's Data is his Chattel" :- We seem to have forgotten this important point, which is often mistaken for a lesser statement about homes and castles!

I believe that it is down to the lawmakers of England to reinstate this key right, not just for us Brits, but the whole world. In fact we need an addition to the UN Declaration of Human Rights. A declaration of Digital Rights.

e-Trust can only come from a base of clear data ownership, "big data" is confounding this key legal concept. There are whole businesses being founded on the idea that acquiring my data, using it and selling it on without my express permission is legitimate.

Yesterday I received an email offering me 1.6 Million email addresses for $450
I was affronted as they were clearly likely to be selling one of my email addresses gained by theft or fraud. The particular email it was sent to was one of my many ghost email addresses "twitterdeck @" one that I never use and only gave out to one supplier. Late last year ALL my ghost emails where "acquired/stolen" from somewhere in one go. I could only assume my ISP 1and1, either sold them onto someone, or they were stolen from the 1and1 servers. I never did discover which.

My data is My Data!  Whether it is my current weight measured by my wifi weighing machine, the amount of wine in my house, or my home address. We need to stop the theft and misuse of personal data before the great british public gets used to the idea that they do NOT own their own data.

I feel very strongly that we have allowed whole business models to be formed on the premise that Personal Data Theft and Misuse is OK. It is NOT OK!

Who, but the Brits can get this back under control? (Actually the Brits alone can't but at least we can start a movement!!)

Finally as a reminder, it is not about Privacy, it is about AGENCY!

Agency, or being in control, is what gives rise to the privacy outcome not the other way round.

The good news is that those that have "acquired" our data by fair means or foul are starting to understand that there is a growing demand for cyber agency. Take a look at the data controls in the latest Apple IO6. The growing power of the screams that occur each time Facebook opens our metaphorical privacy curtains also shows that the public is starting to get the need to be in control.

I wrote this Blog a while ago and felt it was missing something, now having read +Michael Koster's post  on User Agency and IoT, I finally realised what it was.... the importance of both Affordance and the "Things" and the sheer impossibility of accomplishing control in this new world without a great deal of help from Content Curation Agents as well Thing Management Agents that operate on our behalf.

I need mine now, before it is too late!!! And no I do not mean Application by Application I mean an integrated Content Curation Agent that will fight "Data Entropy" while extracting the maximum value from our data, and set of Thing Agents, likely to operate in a heirarchy under the Content Curation Agent.  See earlier post.... 


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