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

From: Perez, Aram <aramp@qualcomm.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 19:33:19 -0700
To: John Carr <johnc1912@msn.com>, "ifette@google.com" <ifette@google.com>
CC: 'Marcos Caceres' <marcosc@opera.com>, 'Karl Dubost' <karl+w3c@la-grange.net>, "Frederick.Hirsch@nokia.com" <Frederick.Hirsch@nokia.com>, "david.rogers@wholesaleappcommunity.com" <david.rogers@wholesaleappcommunity.com>, "public-privacy@w3.org" <public-privacy@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C87E1F7F.102E4%aramp@qualcomm.com>
Hi Folks,

I’ll put in my two cents on this topic. First, I have children and grandchildren and I do not want anything bad to happen to them so I am sympathetic to John’s concerns. But I am a engineer and I believe I understand the some of the limitations of technology.

Preventing the selling glue, alcohol, tobacco, gambling and other products/services to people under 18 is much easier in the physical world than it is in the electronic/virtual world because the seller/provider of the service can physically see the person wanting that product/service. As Peter Steiner correctly pointed out in 1993, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” (<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Internet,_nobody_knows_you're_a_dog>). Things have not changed in the intervening 17 years.

Of course there are exemptions in the physical world: some persons look younger/older than they physically appear. So most sellers/providers of products/services in the physical world have to depend on some sort of identity card issued by some form of government. In the United States, this identity card is usually a driver’s license. The trouble is that a driver’s license is just that, a license to drive a motor vehicle as stated on the back of my driver’s license: “This license is issued as a license to drive a motor vehicle; it does not establish eligibility for employment, voter registration, or public benefits.” The license should also state “nor establish eligibility to buy alcohol, tobacco, glue, etc.” but that will never happen in my lifetime. And I won’t get into the business of selling false identities because enough persons want to buy products/services they are prohibited from buying because of their age that they are enough (bad) people who will sell them false identities.

So even if there was some magic technology that could correctly tell the “age of majority” [1] of a person, I’m sure that that technology would be used in some unforeseen way to cause harm to other persons, including the ones we are trying to protect.

Aram Perez

[1] As Karl Dubost recently posted.

On 8/3/10 12:27 PM, John Carr  wrote:

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.

Received on Wednesday, 4 August 2010 02:33:51 UTC

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