W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-geolocation@w3.org > March 2009

Re: Intended usage notification

From: Alissa Cooper <acooper@cdt.org>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 18:22:03 +0200
Cc: "Thomson, Martin" <Martin.Thomson@andrew.com>, Greg Bolsinga <bolsinga@apple.com>, Doug Turner <doug.turner@gmail.com>, public-geolocation@w3.org
Message-Id: <B48B0967-9A96-4FDA-8E62-C64BCBC37813@cdt.org>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Hi Ian,

On Mar 28, 2009, at 6:17 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Sat, 28 Mar 2009, Alissa Cooper wrote:
>> On Mar 26, 2009, at 6:39 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:
>>>> - This site just asked me if I wanted to be advertised at based on
>>>> my location: reject.
>>> (Why would you reject it? Location-based ads are far more useful  
>>> than
>>> generic ads.)
>> There is a trade-off here that some web users recognize. Receiving a
>> location-based ad might be more valuable than a non-location-based  
>> ad,
>> but some people balance that value against the risk that the site  
>> would,
>> for example, determine whether the location is a doctor's office and
>> sell that fact to health insurers or drug companies, reveal the  
>> location
>> as part of civil litigation or in response to a government  
>> subpoena, or
>> hand it off to a rogue employee who abuses it (e.g., for stalking).  
>> All
>> of these things happen in reality, whether with location  
>> information or
>> other data exchanged on the web.
> Sure, if you don't trust the site, then you shouldn't give the  
> information
> to the site. Why is the problem above any more likely when the site  
> says
> "I will show ads based on your location" than "I will show you your
> position on a map based on your location"?

The point is that there is a value proposition being offered to the  
user. If the user perceives that sharing his data comes with a certain  
amount of risk, then he may weigh the benefits of the service he  
receives against the risks that sharing data presents. For some users,  
receiving their position on the map may be worth the risk; receiving  
an ad may not be.

> Are we expecting the site to say "I will use this information to show
> local ads and will then sell your position to health insurers who  
> will get
> subpoenaned by the government where a rogue employee with use your
> position to stalk you"?

No. See below from my email:

>> This is not a comment on the value of Martin's proposal.

> How is this any different for transient location information than for,
> say, shipping information, or credit card details?

The value proposition idea is true in all those cases (although the  
user's ability to make an informed choice in each case is contextual).

Received on Tuesday, 31 March 2009 16:22:48 UTC

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