Why Privacy cannot be a Web Service



There’s a tendency when you have a hammer to think that everything looks like a nail. There’s plenty of “nails” out there to hammer with your web service, however Privacy isn’t one of them.

Why not?

In a nutshell – Because I want to be in control of the collection, flow and use of my data, AND I don’t want that data stored on a server anywhere where it’s open to others. What a web service does really well is to store and process lots and lots of data. Remember when Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks? The answer was simple – because it’s where the money is.

And that’s exactly the case when it comes to my private data. It’s far more profitable to the hackers to attack a data center rich with personal information than to try and access the data from my one device. They can access millions of records vs. a single record. Pretty much a no brainer when it comes to collect people’s valuable data.

Web services are springing up that store your private data for you, and then share that on an as needed basis with Web content providers that you authorize. Sounds pretty good so far (apart from the storage issue). They can charge a fee to manage your privacy. (Hmmm why can’t I manage my own privacy for nothing?)

But that’s not the problem – the problem is the content provider who you share the data with. You have no idea what they’re really doing with you data. What I want is a simple, easy to use solution that allows me to directly build a trusted relationship with a content provider and gives me a choice in how and what I share on a real time basis.

You don’t need an intermediary web service for that. And certainly not one that charges you for the privilege of storing your private data.


Posted in: #Choice, #mobile, #privacy, Context, Privacy

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