Just in case you feel safe with Twitter

Just got a press release by email from David Rosen (@firstpersonpol) of the Public Citizen press office. The headline says “Historic Grindr Fine Shows Need for FTC Enforcement Action.” The same release is also a post in the news section of the Public Citizen website. This is it: WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Norwegian Data Protection Agency today fined Grindr $11.7 million following a Jan. 2020 report that the dating app systematically violates users’ privacy. Public Citizen asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general to investigate Grindr…

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Solving Subscriptions

Count the number of companies you pay regularly for anything. Add up what you pay for all of them. Then think about the time you spend trying and failing to “manage” any of it—especially when most or all of the management tools are separately held by every outfit’s subscription system, all for their convenience rather than yours. And then think about how in most cases you also need to swim upstream against a tide of promotional BS and manipulation. There…

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The business problems only customers can solve

Customer Commons was created because there are many business and market problems that can only be solved from the customers’ side, under the customer’s control, and at scale, with #customertech. In the absence of solutions that customers control, both customers and businesses are forced to use business-side-only solutions that limit customer power to what can be done within each business’s silo, or to await regulatory help, usually crafted by captive regulators who can’t even imagine full customer agency. Here are…

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Going #Faceless

Facial recognition by entities other than people and their pets has gotten out of control. Thanks to ubiquitous surveillance systems, including the ones in our own phones, we can no longer assume we are anonymous in public places or private in private ones. This became especially clear a few weeks ago when Kashmir Hill (@kashhill) reported in the New York Times that a company called Clearview.ai “invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously, and…

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Why we’re not endorsing Contract for the Web

The Contract for the Web is a new thing that wants people to endorse it. While there is much to like in it, what we see under Principle 5 (of 9) is a deal-breaker: Respect and protect people’s privacy and personal data to build online trust. So people are in control of their lives online, empowered with clear and meaningful choices around their data and privacy: By giving people control over their privacy and data rights, with clear and meaningful choices…

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Customers as a Third Force

Almost all arguments in economics are advanced by two almost opposed positions, each walled into the castles of their ideologies, both insisting that their side has the solutions and the other side causes the problems—while meanwhile between the two flows a river of customers who, if they could be heard, and could participate with more than their cash, would have solutions of their own. Customer Commons’s job is giving those customers full agency for dealing with both the businesses and…

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Change of Address (√)

Way back in 2006 or so, in the first Project VRM meetings, our canonical use case was ‘change of address’; that is to say, we wanted individuals to have the ability to update their address in one place and have that flow to multiple suppliers. That seemed easy enough, so we thought at the time; all that’s needed is: – a data store controlled by the individual – a user interface – an API that allowed organisations to connect We…

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Privacy is personal. Let’s start there.

The GDPR won’t give us privacy. Nor will ePrivacy or any other regulation. We also won’t get it from the businesses those regulations are aimed at. Because privacy is personal. If it wasn’t we wouldn’t have invented clothing and shelter, or social norms for signaling to each what’s okay and what’s not okay. On the Internet we have none of those. We’re still as naked as we were in Eden. But let’s get some perspective here:  we invented clothing and shelter long…

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Latest draft of the No Stalking for Advertising Term V.2

UX and INTERFACE Revised  DRAFT  of a singular, comprehensive term:   Draft Icon for inclusion in MVCR and other uses: USER TERMS: Human language and {{ legal language }} below. PREAMBLE:  The User submitted term shown here creates an opportunity for individuals to share their single term with entities about how they wish to be treated. This effort is meant to describe human, legal and machine readable versions of a comprehensive term along with additional information for agents who might implement this…

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Time for THEM to agree to OUR terms

Try to guess how many times, in the course of your life in the digital world, have “agreed” to terms like these: Hundreds? Thousands? (Feels like) millions? Look at the number of login/password combinations remembered by your browser. That’ll be a fraction of the true total. Now think about what might happen if we could turn these things around. How about if sites and services could agree to our terms and conditions, and our privacy policies? We’d have real agreements, and real relationships, freely established, between parties of…

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