W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-geolocation@w3.org > October 2008

Re: Why privacy can't be left to chance (a response to RE: wording for the privacy section)

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 18:12:36 +0000 (UTC)
To: Phil Archer <phil@philarcher.org>
Cc: public-geolocation@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0810311748190.1041@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Fri, 31 Oct 2008, Phil Archer wrote:
> The world is full of vulnerable people. And vulnerable teenagers are 
> especially vulnerable. They may have had a poor education (so forget 
> safety messages like "don't give out your location to just anyone").

Nothing has been suggested so far that would help uneducated teenagers. Do 
you have any proposals for how to improve the API to help them? Geopriv, 
at least the API proposed so far and the UI that would presumably have to 
go with it to make it in any way useful, would significantly harm the 
ability of a teenager to protect their privacy.

(Also, "vulnerable teenagers are especially vulnerable"? That seems 
tautological. I agree that there are people in the world for whom a 
privacy violation can have dire consequences. We don't have to appeal to a 
tautological "think of the children" argument here. Everyone here agrees 
that privacy is critical to geolocation APIs.)

> If developers don't care about it - and Hixie is, of course, right that 
> many won't - well, they jolly well should. This is real people we're 
> talking about.

I agree. I also think people should stop abusing children, and that thiefs 
should stop stealing, and that people committing financial fraud should be 
more responsible with money. This mailing list, however, isn't going to 
effect fundamental social changes of that nature.

> Making it easy for an end user to advertise their location in a way that 
> can lead to a malicious person finding out where they are is 
> irresponsible and could seriously hurt the bottom line of businesses 
> that implement any such system.

In what way does the curent API do that? Do you have a proposal to prevent 
it? So far nobody has made any effective proposals to address this.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 31 October 2008 18:13:21 UTC

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