3 Responses to “We Need Take A Stand: Privacy On The Web.”

  1. Mark Says:

    Good post!

    I was in Berlin earlier this week for a conference, and got talking to some of the German guys and gals running it. We talked everything, from open standards to privacy, and I learned that in Germany they have some of the strictest privacy laws which started when the population as a whole resisted an ID card proposal by the state. They genuinely believe that the world will wake up to the fact that we have incrementally lost our privacy, willingly, and that when the rest of us attempt to redress the situation, they’ll be there to say they told us so.

    They are, of course, right. It’s not just about SocMed though. Those of us with store loyalty cards should understand that the supermarkets know more about our lives than we do. They know I will buy toilet paper the next time I shop, before even *I* know I’ll need TP. Amazon knows my tastes in music and literature. The recent story of a woman suing Amazon for outing her as a Lesbian is particularly telling — how did they do that? By suggesting some lesbian-fiction titles for her next purchases based on her past buying behaviour.

    SocMed, store cards, GPS/mobile telephony, CCTV, credit cards, electoral registers… it’s too late Mel. You cannot put toothpaste back into the tube.

  2. Mark Says:


    Saw this on TV in the UK last night. Not sure how you can watch it from abroad, but well worth it if you can. The sheer volume of private stuff he forced Amazon to release to him was frightening: over 200 pages of friends’ names and addresses he’d bought presents for, their tastes in literature, music, etc. etc.

    He sent off 80 similar requests for information held on other databases like FB under the Data Protection Act. He received back dossiers of info about him and his family and friends. Even the Stasi would have been impressed!

    I said you can’t put toothpaste back into the tube. Well, I realise now the tube is now completely empty!

  3. oh wow – thanks for the documentary suggestion!! will “rent” it this weekend!!

    Thanks Mark!

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