Sunday, July 20, 2014

forget me, forget me not - how to implement?

some haev argued that
copyright takedown == right to be forgotten
(ie. not quite the same as censorship - just enforcement of access control
by the data owner (in case of PII, person is owner of rights to access some
facts about themselves, unless there's a compelling argument for public knowledge) -
there are other arguments for and against, but this analogy (whatever its flaws) might be useful for estimating the cost of the right to be forgotten (as per EU court ruling)

whatever the many of pros and cons on the topic, but how to implement?
well, if you upload film, music (or stills) to youtube, and are worried about copyright, don't:
google have made it their business to acquire legal copies of Just About Everything digital, and will eventually match whatever you've uploaded to a copy they have in house - they will then discover if there is a rights holder (that isn't you) and, if they havn't already done so, will contact said owner, and ask/ngotiate
 a) do they want content taken down b) do they want analytics c) do they want advertising revenue -
in fact, google can and do optimise this by region by doing blanket agreements with large publishers of digital content.

so to do the same for stories in webpages (and search results) concerning individuals could be done exact same way (probably is) - the technical cost might be a bit higher because you need to
keep a per page (per region) filter entry. The bigger cost (by far) is establishing genuine rights holder (data subject) and whether there's a public interest angle or not - this requires judgement (rather than just money:) so I think its interesting that Google is doing this now...

but the negotiation is where this differs and that's a really tricky business...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mutually Assured Distraction

A lot of commentary on the current fad for extra-territorial mass surveillance misses the point - the reason countries are doing this isn't just because they can, its because they can't currently be held to account.

In the old days, spies would be caught from time to time, and executed (or exchanged). Now, the spies aren't in the other territory, and plausible deniability means you can't even use extradition agreements between allegedly friendly countries (e.g UK &US) to get them bought to book/justice. This shows up in other domains than mere military intelligence:

1. Drones
2. Finance
3. Energy

Sadly for all these, the level of technological development of a country really doesn't have to be that great to gear up to use a bunch of 100$ radio control quadcopters, or a cunning HFT instrument, or even just the ability to turn off the gas pipeline to a neighbour - of course, there are expensive versions of these weaponised tools (e.g. BAe Systems drones that US uses in Pakistan are quite pricey - surprisingly so given cost of crop spraying, or outside sports broadcast drones, really - but then the MoD/DoD were always targets for ripoff pricing) - also the US threatens banks who don't reveal US taxpaying customers accounts/transactions details with massive fines if the bank has a stateside operation (of course, swiss and german banks just close down US tax payer accounts rather than face this), and Putin wields the russian gas wealth like the playground chess playing bully he is:)

But the low cost versions are just as bad.

Hence, talking about this needs to move up a level, methinks, as the realpolitik of using this stuff is not going to go the way of nukes, quite the reverse, since the Use of Weapons of this type doesn't lead to Mass Destruction, just death by a thousand strikes......

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Horizon Digital Economy annual shindig - some ideas...

so we had the Horizon annual conference last 2 days in Nottingham, and jolly good it was too - esp. two v. good "industry" talks, one on New Media from local 21st century 'cinema' people in notts, the other from the link guy for NHS data projects which was v. v cool

couple of ideas sproinged up during discussions

1. the loneliness of the long distance spectator - instead of filing a long strung out event (marathon run, tour de france etc) from central, string together a set of friends and family of a given participant into a narrative...lovely idea  - whole new experience for all concerned - main problem is legal consent (if spe, participants have prior agreement, e.g. with news media channels) - should be fairly easy tho to think through

2. - a startup idea - we are suffering from ethics questionnaire fatigue - we need a pool of people who agree to be study groups for repeated things (a la Nielsson ratings biz model) and just deal with their informed consent once (or occasionally) for all those twitter/facebook/email/emotionsense/mypersonality etc etc

3. Embrace Messy

Lots of studies of systems (esp. internet of things or other tech embedded in everyday life) involve lots of noise - e.g. multiple occupancy houses etc etc - why bother trying to be a control freak nailing down who is who (e.g. with fascistic rfid tagging of everyone or even worse, invasive use of cameras or mikes and face speaker/gait/gesture recognition etc) - embrace the mess - for example, lots of people in my house use computers at random, so we all get each others' profiles/recommendations - this is amusing and, indeed, gives us a community feel about who likes/watches/listens to what!! this is good not bad:)

the fact that it also acts as cover traffic is also good for fuzzing (plausible deniability:)

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home