Re: Cookies - Raising Awareness

Hi All,

On 7/21/10 3:10 PM, David Rogers wrote:
> I tweeted this at the time from comedian Lee Mack, but it is really reflective on 99% of users:
> Most users do not have a clue .In the words of Lee Mack:"Have you tried disabling cookies?""Well, I once bit the legs off a gingerbread man"

Jokes aside (and I know David did not mean to imply this so I am saying 
it generally), but just because users don't understand something does 
not mean they should not be entitled to a protection or control of 
privacy. To quote James Boyle [1], who discusses similar dispossession 
of rights in the context of intellectual property, this is similar to 
"the Supreme Court decisions that dispossessed the American Indians on 
the theory that they did not comprehend the concept of property and thus 
did not “own” the land being taken from them" p.54.

I know that the above kinda goes without saying it. However, during the 
workshop certain people did argue that things like geopriv were too 
confusing for end users, and would up the cost for implementers and 
vendors, therefore users should not be entitled to such technological 

I personally believe that for site owners to access "advanced Web APIs" 
should incur a level of commitment to privacy: both at the technological 
level and at the legal level. That is to say, if I, as a site operator, 
use a particular API that accesses a user's private data, then I should 
respect what the user dictates are the restrictions on that data 
(spatial, temporal, etc).  For an API to not afford the end-user with 
any means at all to dictate their usage-rights over that data unfairly 
dis-empowers users - dare I say in the manner the Supreme court did in 
the quote I gave above. I also support the notion that  individual bits 
of data may not make up the tangible object to which the protections can 
be applied to (e.g., a geotagged photo, where the geolocation is stamped 
after the photo is taken, and the people in the photo are tagged from my 
address book).

Lastly, I want to take issue with users not understanding stuff. I class 
myself as a user :) I don't see myself as some special person above any 
other person. If I am capable of understanding this stuff, I don't see 
why anyone else would not be... and if another user is not getting it, 
you are probably just not explaining it right.


Marcos Caceres
Opera Software

Received on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 16:29:40 UTC