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Privacy vs Rights. Again.

8 October Subscribe
Tech news, HAT-slanted 
Issue 145
Privacy vs Rights. Again. 

Oh man.
Andrew Yang, the Democrat running for president at next year's US elections, wants individuals to have property rights for their data. One of his goals, according to his policy proposal, is to 'enable individuals to share in the economic value generated as a result of their data.'
Sound familiar? The economic power of personal data as returned to individuals is the key to broader data ownership rights. Yang's tweet revives the privacy vs property rights debate, and while the crypto crowd is cheering about his proposals, others are less enthusiastic, with CNET's David Priest quoting privacy scholars on why treating data as property isn't feasible
It's hard to move from privacy to rights. Even Yang's list—which includes the right to opt out and the right to be forgotten—sounds more like GDPR-type privacy rules than actual property rights. The reality is that data in itself is not “ownable”, as I wrote in MadHATTERs 100th issue. And the Royal Society has weighed in on it as well. Data rights take the property rights of where it sits, and centralised databases are not the best places for it to sit for such rights. Which is why economists and privacy scholars do not like the idea. 

But calls like Yang's can only be good. We are all pushing to decentralise the Internet so that individuals can benefit from their own data. 
Genuine data ownership rights can give us possession, control, exclusion, enjoyment and disposition (the HATLAB highlighted this in a recent response on children's rights in the digital environment). They rebalance economic power so that we can enforce privacy rules.

Yours in HAT,

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-chief

The Present

For sale: personal info of 92 million Brazilians. Starting price: US$15,000. Personal data has value all right. 
Facial recognition is really catching on with governments. Now France wants in too

The Future 

All hail California's new privacy laws, landing Jan 2020. The next step: taking on adtech. Good timing too, given the merger of these adtech startups. Watch out for more fireworks ahead.

And talking to your dog will soon be a two-way conversation

The Doghouse

It's not just consent. It's got to be active consent, says the EU court on cookies tracking. So no more assumptions, no more pre-checked boxes.
Google's going to court again. For a class-action lawsuit over collecting iPhone users' browsing data without consent
And so is British Airways. For not protecting its customers' personal data properly.


Some best new sci-fi to read, now there's scientific proof that it doesn't actually make us stupid.

HAT News 

The HATLAB DROPs team at UCL have been using creative methods with families

Irene’s in Malaysia and Singapore this week, and Jason’s keeping her busy with lots of meetings. 

Welcome to the team from Podato, and congratulations Joyn on their recent fundraise!

Jonathan Holtby, Chief Commercial Officer

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