15 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2021
    1. a data donation platform that allows users of browsers to donate data on their usage of specific services (eg Youtube, or Facebook) to a platform.

      This seems like a really promising pattern for many data-driven problems. Browsers can support opt-in donation to contribute their data to improve Web search, social media, recommendations, lots of services that implicitly require lots of operational data.

    2. The idea is that many smaller tech companies would allow for more choice between services. This solution is flawed. For one, services like search or social media benefit from network effects. Having large datasets to train on, means search recommendations get better. Having all your friends in one place, means you don’t need five apps to contact them all. I would argue those are all things we like and might lose when Big Tech is broken up. What we want is to be able to leave Facebook and still talk to our friends, instead of having many Facebooks.

      I'd be interested to better understand this concern or critique. I think the goal of smaller, interoperable services is exactly the idea of being able to communicate with our Facebook friends even if we leave Facebook. Perhaps that is an argument for combining deconsolidation with interoperability.

  2. Feb 2021
    1. On the other side, a platform that does share its users’ data through such an interface must make sure federated partners have all the information they need to process personal information according to each user’s preferences.

      is this sticky policies? old school.

    2. Less dramatically, bad actors may learn that a part of the federated ecosystem —perhaps a single server with little funding or poor security practices —is more amenable to users who would present false fronts to the rest of the world, and use that service as a base for their bad-faith operations.

      yes, the federated social web (e.g. the Mastodon/ActivityPub fediverse) already sees this, with some servers being easier targets to distribute spam and harassment

    3. Without new legal safeguards to protect the privacy of user data, this kind of interoperable ecosystem could make Cambridge Analytica-style attacks more common.

      This is a good description of the risk, and a good reason that interop mandates and baseline privacy regulations should happen at the same time.

    4. The obvious privacy risk with this kind of tool is that the delegated agent could turn out to be a bad steward of user privacy.

      I would be concerned that this could ease development of a wide range of malware -- click here to try out my fun new tool, and then suddenly, my client-side click-through has deleted all of your account data and changed your password, etc.

    5. The Privacy Paradox

      "privacy paradox" has a well-known alternate meaning in the privacy literature, so probably best that this doesn't go deeper on this overloaded use of the term

    6. Though they compete in different markets, most of the tech giants share at least one business model: surveillance. Technology conglomerates collect information about users from each of their dozens of smaller services, synthesize those data into profiles, and use those profiles to target ads.

      are we perhaps overstating the importance of this particular business model? Apple sells computers, Microsoft sells software, Amazon sells server-side services and a ton of products, Google sells contextual and search-based ads. Surveillance is needed to different amounts, but it's not clear that behaviorally targeted ads is the bread and butter of most tech giants.

    7. The market concentration crisis in tech has brought the need for interoperability into sharp focus. A number of factors have contributed to rapid, decisive centralization over the past two decades, with a handful of companies amassing unprecedented power across borders and industries.

      I also often see this problem described as "consolidation" among providers on the Internet. (Is "concentration" or "consolidation" a particular term of art in some scholarship?)

    8. To the extent that companies have to worry about users taking their business elsewhere (especially if users have low switching costs), companies will be pressured to be better stewards.

      portability can mitigate some of the concerns that come from monopoly power, including choices about privacy

    1. We still need healthy governance systems, and as a start we need to reaffirm and strengthen multi-stakeholder processes.

      reaffirmation of multistakeholderism!

    2. An early optimism that the system might evade many of the unwanted constraints of society has been replaced today with a realization that the internet is all too susceptible to societal and human frailties, with limited avenues for accountability or redress.

      "early optimism" is a nicer spin on what is often described as naivete, technological solutionism or privileged myopia. But this is also a clear and honest statement.

  3. Oct 2013
    1. “words will not be sufficient”

      Is that a suggestion that the US should make changes to its surveillance program? Or a hint that Germany expects other concessions during the trade negotiations?

    1. a summit meeting of European leaders that was eclipsed by concern about the extent of American electronic eavesdropping on its allies

      What was that summit? What was the original topic that was then eclipsed?

    1. sovereignty of the United States of America

      I hadn't heard the meme before of sovereignty being violated by immigration. Is this a common focus of conservative objections?