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Re: MAC addresses and privacy...

From: Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2010 22:17:21 +0200
To: Mark Lizar <info@smartspecies.com>
Cc: public-privacy@w3.org
Message-Id: <201010112217.22489.rigo@w3.org>
Hi Mark, 

On Monday 11 October 2010 11:04:30 Mark Lizar wrote:
> In this regard maybe some more research and analysis of this issues is  
> warranted? What do you think about the idea of tracking the use of MAC  
> addresses and submitting a subject access request (or two) to  
> organisations that are storing MAC addresses?

This only works for the EU where you have subject access requests. And those 
are burdensome. We are techies here, right? What about a subject access API 
for web services? I know a lot of privacy advocates would like to have such an 
API. 
> 
> The challenge (I propose) is to track institutional use of MAC address  
> to attempt to find the frequency and occurence of a MAC address in  
> databases.   What these MAC addresses are being used for, their state  
> of storage and transmission. Etc.

I think the challenge is less in finding out evil service behavior. We know 
how to track that more or less. Incidents like the one David Singer describes 
very often trigger people to look more closely to things. 

What we don't know is the social expectations in our societies and into what 
that translates technology wise. Hiding all the risks and tracking like there 
is no tomorrow hasn't really helped the Web to gain trust. We have to do more 
research on real user expectations and the traps inherent to this social 
field. I target mainly  the economics of privacy and the behavioral economics 
of privacy as researched by Alessandro Acquisti: 

http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/~acquisti/

Best, 

Rigo
Received on Monday, 11 October 2010 20:17:52 GMT

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