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Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the world wide web, today warned MPs and peers that they should not allow third parties, including commercial companies, to snoop on people's internet browsing. (...) the URLs [webpages] people use reveal a huge amount about their lives, loves, hates and fears. This is extremely sensitive information.
"...the URLs [webpages] people use reveal a huge amount about their lives, loves, hates and fears. This is extremely sensitive information.
"People use the web in a crisis, when wondering whether they have a sexually transmitted disease, or cancer, when wondering if they are homosexual and whether to talk about it... to discuss political views."
Sad to say, but isn't this exactly why third parties wish to snoop?
But, as noted, snooping can do harm, sometimes even by well-meaning individuals or organizations who spook folks from getting the information they need on STDs or a political candidate.
Who has money and what are the spending it on?
That hits the nail on the head and I'd even add "and how can we get a bigger share of that".
It would be extremely naive to think that no data is being collected without authorization. Today it feels like it's "gather as much data as you can get away with" on the agenda. Keep in mind that as I say this i'm a little annoyed that Google was gathering visitor information without my knowing about it through my site. Being forcefully and without warning "opted in" to something I didn't know existed smacks of exactly what nobody wants to see happening.
Moving above the level of commerce, look at 'snooping' capabilities of inter-governmental stuff like Project Echelon, and the increasing legislation at national levels that enforce the keeping of records of your, and my, online activities and communications.
In some respects I fear that the depth's of Mr Orwell's nightmare scenario's have been far surpassed by modern day realities.
Posted by Anon.
I just hope Sir Tim is heard.
There is nothing wrong with enforcing a right to the protection of ones private data. There is a big difference between how people view personal information in mainland Europe when compared to the US.
An issue at stake is more about WHAT businesses can do with the information they collect. This much, at the moment, is very very unclear in the most popular website's and social networks privacy policies. But it will eventually change. At the moment businesses are just trying to exploit and gather as much personal data as possible before a solution is found. Equally, users are using things like Communication Privacy Management theory to submit false information on forms and interactive modules, as a measure against protecting their own privacy.
The debate about this issue also ties into fundamental principles of the businesses ethics.
Time will tell.