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

From: John Carr <johnc1912@msn.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 20:27:21 +0100
Message-ID: <SNT141-ds2153011433E891B0B7DBA0AEAE0@phx.gbl>
To: <ifette@google.com>
CC: "'Marcos Caceres'" <marcosc@opera.com>, "'Karl Dubost'" <karl+w3c@la-grange.net>, <Frederick.Hirsch@nokia.com>, <david.rogers@wholesaleappcommunity.com>, <public-privacy@w3.org>
Actually we do restrict the sale of glue, at least in the UK we do. A shopkeeper caught selling glue to a child can go to jail - same with alcohol, tobacco, gambling and several other products not deemed suitable for children. Real measures that work in the real world. And in cities we have speed limits, often backed up by speed cameras, speed bumps etc. precisely in order to limit the potential consequences of vehicles doing harm, and near schools the speed limit is 20 mph.


So let me get this right: you guys invented and created this problem, and I'm the one, who has to come up with a solution?  Me the non-techie (in this company)? Neat.


I am not against any of this stuff. I can see the potential value in it, of course I can. I don't think you need applications like Latitude, Fire Eagle or Foursquare for you to do a simple enquiry about where the nearest ATM is, but there you go.


What I am against is big rich companies putting stuff out there without paying due care and attention - Buzz, Street View, wifi routers, privacy settings, and now these new location services, which I do think are qualitatively new and different. They cross a line.


Anyway, I can't see much point in prolonging this exchange. If anyone on the list can think of a solution I'd love to hear it.


From: public-privacy-request@w3.org [mailto:public-privacy-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Ian Fette (????????)
Sent: 03 August 2010 10:04
To: John Carr
Cc: Marcos Caceres; Karl Dubost; Frederick.Hirsch@nokia.com; david.rogers@wholesaleappcommunity.com; public-privacy@w3.org
Subject: Re: Location services and age limit Re: Location in the news


Frankly, I think comparing it to a high-wire across Niagra is a bit much. It's a tool that like anything else can be used by people for the wrong reasons. We don't station a policeman on every corner to make sure kids don't run into traffic and get hit by cars, we don't put limiters on cars to ensure they don't go more than 70mph or whatever the speed limit may be in a given jurisdiction, we don't restrict the sale of glue to prevent kids from "sniffing" it, we don't require you to be 18 to buy a video camera, etc.


If you have a concrete, practical proposal, I think we would all be glad to listen and provide feedback. Continuing to throw out analogies is not productive. We're not bad people who want to sell kids geolocation to the lowest bidder. Give a concrete suggestion, don't just say "throw out geolocation" because by that argument we should also throw out half of modern society.


On Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 1:54 AM, John Carr <johnc1912@msn.com> wrote:

If you string up a high wire across Niagara Falls you don't have to be
Einstein to predict that, sooner or later, short of other measures being put
in place, someone is going to try to walk across it and in the attempt they
will "get hurt". It really isn't necessary to wait until someone does.  The
answer is either not to put the high wire up there in the first place, or
don't walk away leaving it unguarded.

I am 99.99% certain that if one of the big internet players could work out a
way to make money from age verification they would do it in a heartbeat. I
simply do not believe that the only reason it hasn't happened yet is because
of noble concerns about reverse engineering to discover who is a child. And
anyway the analogy given does not work. The fact that you are not signed up
for a service that is limited to persons aged 18 or above does not prove
that you are a child. It only proves that you haven't signed up for that
service. I am a tad over 18 but hell will freeze over before I join an
online gambling site or become a member of an online dating service.

If you read the adjudication of the Canadian Privacy Commission in the case
of Facebook you will see that, inter alia, she said the following

"...............I believe something much more substantial in the way of
safeguards is required.  Specifically, I mean technological safeguards that
will not simply forbid, but effectively prevent, developers' unauthorized
access to personal information that they do not need."

Not exactly on my point, but close enough I think.

I am not a techie like you guys are. I am looking for help to put right what
I see as a very obvious wrong. Maybe this is the wrong place to seek that
help, but I've certainly enjoyed the exchange. My point is very simple:
location services cross a line and it is outrageous that companies have put
them out there on to the "free" internet with nominal age limits attached
knowing perfectly well they have no means of enforcing those  age limits.
Kids will "get hurt". It is simply a question of when and how. They needn't
have been, and in the shitstorm that will follow, the internet companies
that have allowed these things to happen will have brought regulation a step
closer. There are none so blind as those that will not see, particularly if
it is dollar signs that are obscuring the view.

-----Original Message-----
From: public-privacy-request@w3.org [mailto:public-privacy-request@w3.org]

On Behalf Of Marcos Caceres
Sent: 03 August 2010 06:45
To: John Carr
Cc: 'Karl Dubost'; Frederick.Hirsch@nokia.com; ifette@google.com;
david.rogers@wholesaleappcommunity.com; public-privacy@w3.org

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

I'm sorry, I missed some of your presentation during the privacy meeting,
but I'm really lost as to what you want or are trying to achieve - but I
really do want to understand your position. You lashing out at techies and
companies is not helpful and puts us all on the defensive (I'm a techie at
one of those companies:(). So, lets not go down that path. Lets start again
by clearly articulating what the problem is without getting frustrated.

Can you please,

1. Define the problem.

2. Present some clear evidence there is a problem (particularly regarding
the technology, and evidence that the technology is being used in some
malicious way to undermine privacy).

3. Propose some solutions or some ideas which we may discuss - particularly
cases where things have worked or failed.

Kind regards,

On 8/2/10 11:52 PM, 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
> 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
> * 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
> 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).

Marcos Caceres
Opera Software

Received on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 19:27:35 UTC

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