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Re: Location services and age limit Re: Location in the news

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 15:47:32 -0700
Message-Id: <E3F96E68-4F74-4304-B940-46D662D7C90C@apple.com>
To: public-privacy@w3.org
I am not at all sure that any of us are very good at predicting the consequences.  We often think that they are fully thought-through, but then someone surprises us.  The usual example 'link visited' seemed pretty innocuous and an obvious feature of CSS, at first, for example.  Being able to embed graphics from other sites is mostly pretty useful (until you think of 1x1 tracking GIFs).  And so on.

I think one of the reasons we're having this discussion is to find out what role the W3C and its specifications have in the struggle to define and maintain privacy in a context of innovative devices and services.  We are all learning a lot here, and I don't think it helps to characterize other people's intentions or basis of discussion (or lack of them).  Let's criticize ideas, technologies, and so on, rather than people or their assumed motivations.

As a meta-technical point, I worry about services that help me determine whether someone is an adult or not; turned backwards, they help me determine whether someone is a child or not.  If I want to (for example) target my advertising to children more effectively, I now have a tool to do that.  If the service doesn't know if I am a dog, an adult, a policeman, a journalist, a competitor, etc. then a certain 'reticence' results.

On Aug 2, 2010, at 14:52 , John Carr wrote:

> I'm not "blaming" the API. That's a bit pointless now. That's done. We need
> to find a solution, but look at what happened with Buzz, look at what is
> happening with StreetView, collecting data on wifi routers in people's
> homes, the twists and turns of Facebook's privacy settings.
> Now tell me why I should feel confident that these guys who run these
> companies and the techies they employ have any real sense of social
> responsibility? We need to get past the "Hey Dude. Look what I can do. Bet
> we can make a few bucks with this. Let's give it a whirl." mentality. Some
> of these wizard techie things should not be launched until the ideas are
> fully baked and the consequences are fully thought through.
> And by the way  " It takes time, people get hurt, but it will happen." kind
> of says it all. Do you feel no responsibility to try to avoid people getting
> "hurt"? Or must we simply bend to the will of the new techno Masters of the
> Universe? I don't think so.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-privacy-request@w3.org [mailto:public-privacy-request@w3.org]
> On Behalf Of Karl Dubost
> Sent: 02 August 2010 21:36
> To: John Carr
> Cc: Frederick.Hirsch@nokia.com; marcosc@opera.com; ifette@google.com;
> david.rogers@wholesaleappcommunity.com; public-privacy@w3.org
> Subject: Location services and age limit Re: Location in the news
> (better subject for the mail)
> About accessing location services for people who are under 18.
> 1. Blaming the API doesn't solve the issue.
> 2. Location services for children can be useful. "I'm lost in this street
> far away from home, how can I go back home?"
> 3. Location racking services on children might be helpful (good angels
> caring) and dangerous (hunters). 
> There might be different ways of addressing these.
> * There could be different set of features depending on the age of the user.
> * Certification of ages online is not done and brings a ton of other issues
> such as 
>  * privacy (when I enter in a bakery somewhere I do not have to give my
> age, my name or my address).
>  * reliability (I do not know a good system which associate a digital
> identity to the person behind the computer. Identification system in the
> physical world do not rely *only* on the fact that you have an ID card but
> that this ID card that you are showing *here* is physically associated to
> you and the identification bit is often… the picture.)
> * Change of social norms. It takes time, people get hurt, but it will
> happen. 
> For me part of the answer is that carriers should make their celltowers
> location database and broadcasting completely open. So people devices could
> locate themselves without having to be hooked to a carrier.
> What does it give? An additional layer of opacity. A geo service could send
> all the geo-tiles of a place and your location could be calculated on the
> device without having to broadcast it OR You could download maps of an area
> without having to rely on a live geo service.
> This could also create plenty of new services, devices, applications that
> people could develop (ecosystem being improved, good for the market as
> large) 
> BUT this would require a big shift for business people and maybe
> infrastructure (weakness of this proposal).
> -- 
> Karl Dubost
> Montréal, QC, Canada
> http://www.la-grange.net/karl/

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Monday, 2 August 2010 22:48:06 GMT

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