Businesses stand to benefit if they grant consumers more control over how their personal data is used, a policy think-tank has said. Demos said that consumers are suffering a "crisis of confidence" in relation to information sharing, and that businesses stand to enjoy a "significant advantage" over others if they have "open, …
Personal data is like naked photos
You might give some to people you trust, but really, you should know that sooner or later someone will leak them.
Companies may well start off with high ideals, principles and promises, but there's nothing enforcable to back these up and once given, personal information can't be withdrawn. So as soon as that naive, idealistic company that you once trusted goes bust and its assets are sold, or it gets taken over by a more successful, predatory outfit, all the assurances and guarantees become void. Just like your ex. going to the tabloids with those photos.
Its not that people dont trust companies with their data
We know they WILL sell that data for the most profit whatever they say otherwise.
Every company I have worked for has had databases ripped off and exported by people leaving sales or people in IT getting an email and a friendly "upfront" payment direct to their paypal.
I generally work in NHS. .Gov and the banking sector. If these boys cant be trusted, who gives a monkeys about the others?
Even if you see those names and think "of course they cant be trusted", the data they routinly give away is of far more import than anything Virgin or BT could have on you.
Way off the mark
"It is not always appropriate for companies simply to offer consumers a choice between opting-in or opting-out of information sharing in its totality,"
Bollocks. Full Opt Out is ALWAYS an appropriate option. It is for me, anyway.
"It is vital to make the currency of the exchange more explicit to all parties, so that trust is established"
Bollocks^2 Trust? Like Facebook is trusted?
"Consumers make decisions about what to share based on trust: they will share information with companies and brands they have confidence in." (sic)
Bollocks^3 I share as little as possible with any organisation, trusted or not.
This is a joke right
Whether it be the company or one of its scrupulous sales staff there is money to be made, legal or illegally, with up-to-date data. Temptation is simply too strong for the weak.
Data is rarely held in encrypted format on company databases and the IT departement at the very least have access to everything. Quite often there are many departements who have access, at least read only, to customer information. Finance dept for a payments, Directors, Marketing and sales are usually capable of producing all kinds of reports, unsupervised of course. the list goes on and on.
In this day and age it is impossible to put your faith in anything other than the fact the your information will eventually be used against you. You have to know it and live with it.
"It is not always appropriate...
"...for companies simply to offer consumers a choice between opting-in or opting-out of information sharing in its totality"
Absolutely correct, the DEFAULT should be "Opt out", offer me that and *then* I'll consider what benefits might be offered by opting in to e-mails, data sharing etc on an item by item basis!
Who or what is "Demos"?
Did you not think it would be relevant to include this?
Re: Who or what is "Demos"?
Alternatively you could JFGI. Guess what comes up as the first result, Sherlock?
Who is Demos?
Yeah El Reg should have mentioned who they are. Baiscally Demos is yet one more "Think Tank", in this case one who hasnt been in the news lately.
They describe themselves like this. Demos “challenges the traditional, ‘ivory tower’ model of policymaking by giving a voice to people and communities.
Meaningless twaddle, much like their latest "report" What they should actually describe themselves as is "I have a line of spin to spew and I wont divulge who is paying me for this trash"
The people who do know how to manage data will sell it at some point. The ones who don't will lose it. Even with companies who know what they are doing and have a strong privacy stance; there's no guarantees that the next CEO will feel the same way...it's a reasonably safe bet that they won't with all that untapped revenue lying around the place.
Having been continually arsefucked by absolutely everyone on the net *OF COURSE* consumers are untrusting. And rightly so.
WOT benefits for me?
I have yet to be told any useful benefit for ME. For the companies, obviously they want to whore my data for money. In return my searches are twiddled based on what a MACHINE thinks I want, usually getting it wrong. I'm progressively locked in a Bubble based on the past, limiting my search results. Personalized offers? They're still merely advertisements, not of any benefit to me. In short, the rationale of mutual benefit is totally bogus.
Therefore, Default OPT-OUT is what I want. Convince me I have something useful to gain, I'll give it up. If they can't offer me real benefits in trade, I might accept CASH!
A good start would be legislation making it a serious criminal offense to collect, keep, release, receive, process or otherwise use any data where there is any possibility that the data could be connected to a person, living or dead, unless:
1) The data is strictly needed to provide a product or service requested by the aforementioned person, and
2) The aforementioned person has given explicit, informed consent to the aforementioned use, and
3) The consent mentioned in 2) can be withdrawn at any time with the effect that the aforementioned data is kept and used only as strictly necessary for technical reasons or to fulfill a legal obligation.
(There would need to be exceptions for things like government records (tax, court / criminal, ...), credit information and such of course ... 'technical reasons' above is intended to include backup tapes and such ... )
At all comes down to...
...Wil Wheaton's Prime Directive: "Don't be a dick".