The PrivacyPapers was released over a two week period of emails by Michael Kasdan, who has generously given us permission to post it in its entirety over several posts.
You can search Twitter: #PrivacyPapers, for the content and to share comments.
23. Privacy Papers – 3.1415 – Down the Stretch

From: [] On Behalf Of Michael Kasdan
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Subject: RE: Privacy Papers – 3.1415 – Down the Stretch
I think agreeing to disagree on the Streetview controversy may be the way to go…
Meanwhile, we still have Question No. 3 out there from that pain-in-the-ass moderator.  Jokes and quotes, but no solutions from that guy.  Wait.  That’s me.  Anyway:  #anddownthestretchtheycome
The influence and value of networks – which are now hopped up on speed and turbo-charged by digital social networks – is fascinating and striking and incredible.
Question Number 3: How much is that worth?  How much would you be willing to pay for that?  Are there other viable business models that work?  What are they?
On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM, John wrote:
I’m troubled by your thoughts.  “End users won’t be able to make reasoned decisions about protecting their information?” That’s what they’re asked to do with existing privacy/terms & conditions language with Google or anyone else.  I get that people get overwhelmed, but does that mean if there is a concern about privacy or whatever we shouldn’t try to inform the general public so they can make reasoned decisions?
I’m just saying that this shouldn’t be all we are relying on.  Nobody reads T&Cs or Privacy policies prior to doing things.  It’s like buying a house, you just sign whatever is put in front of you (here is where all the lawyers on the list cringe…).  I don’t think the data vault idea is the solution for everyone.  Too complicated to setup, too much (or too little) granularity on the data I share, it just gets in the way.
Remember, half the people out there have below average intelligence.
In terms of seeing your banking statements, that’s your call, although the “creepy line” is in the eye of the beholder.  I think cars filming the planet and stealing IP addresses falls pretty squarely under the “creepy” line.  I also think breaking the law (according to the FTC) would be violating the “do no evil” idea.
Let’s be clear here.  No IP addresses were stolen.  Street View cars (which were mapping Wifi AP locations) ACCIDENTALLY recorded UNENCRYPTED wifi traffic [ok, maybe on a technicality they were collecting encrypted traffic as well.  But if you can’t decrypt it, did you really collect it?].  So we can debate on if this was done on purpose or by accident, but this story again makes my point.  It is trivial to enable Wifi encryption, and yet many people don’t care enough to do it, or aren’t savvy enough to know to do it.  They are just happy to have their digital life fly through the ether, into other people’s homes, don’t care who sees it.
Lastly, I don’t think Google cares about competition to a large degree.  I think that’s the danger of any organization growing to the size they have.  Even the FTC violation was no more than a slap on the wrist.  It didn’t keep them from moving the Street View program forward.
But I’m in the minority I realize.  I recently wrote a piece on Mashable about artificial intelligence touching on some of these issues and got eviscerated in the comments by a number of google fans.  I don’t understand why my challenging aspects of what the company does while praising other things they do means I’m a luddite.
So, balloons in a Africe, a mobile operating system, Chromebooks, Google Fiber, Free wifi at Starbucks.  Why does google do all these things?  Let be honest: it’s about the money.  Google has discovered a wonderful thing.  The more computers that have internet access, the more money they make.  While the Loon project does have some altruistic intentions, it is mainly about making more money.  Android, ChomreOS?  Making computing devices cheaper so they can reach more people.  Know how most people in India get on the internet?  Via their cell phones.  It all boils down to money.

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