back to article Competition law could help solve data-slurping monopolies, peers told

Information monopolies are a "vexing" problem, but data protection laws alone can't fix them, a UK parliamentary committee has been told. Members of the House of Lords committee investigating artificial intelligence yesterday quizzed experts on how personal data should be owned, managed and used. The peers voiced concerns …

  1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Down with the lords!

    It's stuff like this and the presence of 2 Jags Prescott that make me want to scream in rage.

    Why cant we have an elected upper house and get rid of the useless morons like this!

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Down with the lords!

      Why cant we have an elected upper house and get rid of the useless morons like this!

      Two chamber systems are usually designed to establish checks and balances. The more common option worldwide is to have regional reps as the second chamber. That is not applicable to the UK as UK is not that diverse regionally. While it has 4 "parts", within each of these parts the interests are not nearly as distinct as the regions in let's say Russia or even France.

      The current system in the UK has over time gravitated towards long term interests versus short term instead. As far as choices go it is not such a bad choice and it has worked as a good set of checks and balances lately. I found it it quite admirable when the Lords gave Osborne a bloody nose in the middle of his quest on fleecing the poor to make the super-rich even richer. They also put up a pretty good show against every single attempt by Josephina Vissarionovna May to move us towards a Stasi run dictatorship.

      Sure a lot of the Lords are useless and/or show up only if their party twists their arm to show up (hello Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, how many times did you vote and for what? It is still better than an elected chamber.

      If you need an example of elected upper+lower chamber clusterf*** have a look at USA and the house of representatives. It makes a fine (if not the best) example why it is a bad idea to have upper and lower house elected based on similar criteria with similar terms in office.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why cant we have an elected upper house and get rid of the useless morons like this!

    Because we've already got one house of elected useless morons. Unless you can come up with a scheme that sterilises the Lords from party political influence, and brings in people with a wider knowledge, then change achieves nothing.

    Even if you can keep the Labour, Conservative, LibdemSNPPlaidCymryGreen et al types out of the Lords, what exactly the purpose of the "upper house"? It is the job of the opposition in the Commons (and the various Commons committees) to hold the government to account, and apart from that I can't see a use for the Lords.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Having the upper house as unelected is advantageous. Most politicians only think as far ahead as the next election. Having the Lords appointed in the way that it is helps to keep it separate from that sort of short term thinking. The majority of members of the House of Lords have been appointed usually because they have had successful careers in valuable sectors of the British economy, or because they have made a valuable contribution to public life. The same cannot be said of the Commons.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The majority of members of the House of Lords have been appointed usually because they have had successful careers in valuable sectors of the British economy, or because they have made a valuable contribution to public life.

        Rubbish. Far too many appointments are undeserving twats, being made peers in return for favours to the prime minister of the day, or simply because they are mates of the prime minister, and few purely for being senior civil servants, selflessly agreeing to take a gold plater pension the rest of us can only dream of. And more than a few simply bought their peerage, through "cash for honours". Both Blair and Cameron sought to stuff the Lords with their revolting, talent free cronies.

        So I'm staggered that you believe that these people have got their peerage through "successful careers in valuable sectors of the economy" - you mean like Dido Harding? Or "valuable contribution to public life" - like that fat arsehole, Prescott?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So I'm staggered that you believe that these people have got their peerage through "successful careers in valuable sectors of the economy" - you mean like Dido Harding

          She has. AFAIK servicing an MP is a valuable sector of the economy. Just look at the recent news on what happens if they are not serviced constantly and sufficiently.

    2. }{amis}{ Silver badge
      Devil

      Fair point....

      Fair point the government really does not like to be held to account but the system cant be any worse than it already is.

      The average age of a lord is 69 (no giggling in the back) as far as i can tell the one's that can still walk under their own power, mostly operate on the Sign in Sod Off principle and the rest sit there on a pool of their own body wastes.

      At least of they were elected the odd's that you get a house full of retired Toffs and past it politician's plus their hangers on is low, maybe if we were really lucky we would get a handful that are actually useful!!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Fair point....

        "The average age of a lord is 69"

        Ah. The typical PC ageist is still with us. Would you make a similar statement using gender or race as a measure of competence?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    House of Lords ...

    The UK is the only member of the EU that has the luxury of an upper house which consists of qualified and experienced jurists to oversee legislation.

    Maybe accountability is a trade off for quality ? Bearing in mind the UK constitution places limits on what the House of Lords can actually do in real life.

    This is an observation, not a statement of support or dissent.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: House of Lords ...

      No it is not.

      The house of Lords takes a lot of the functionality which the constitutional court takes elsewhere.

      In fact, a Constitutional or a High Court if entrusted with overruling the parliament if they have gone off the deep end are significantly more reliable set of checks and balances than the House of Lords.

      Unfortunately, in order for them to work they require a written constitution - something to work off so they can send the parliament to the pharmacy to get some purgative when they swallow a Stalin by mistake. So this does not apply to the UK which is still competing with Saudi for the title of the last country on the planet to adopt a written constitutions (at this rate, Saudi will blink first and have one before the UK).

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: House of Lords ...

        We do have a written constitution, it's just in several parts.

        1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

          Re: House of Lords ...

          Here here, and the only ones who are likley to know all of it are the Law Lords, or there Replacement US styled "Supreme Court" (who can hear judicial review of any decision by parliment)

          The UK constitution works from base documents and a ton of case law the initial document is the one the US constitution is based on, The Magna Carta, and there are several acts of parliment that add and crystalise other parts. starting from the Bill of rights and Crown and Parliment recognition act, that etablished the Constitutional Monarchy, through Acts of union 1707/1800, and Parliment Acts 1911/1949, to to the Human Rights Act and devolution acts 1998 and Constitutional reform acts 2005/2010. The 2005 act seperates Parliment from the Judiciary.

          Currently the 1972 European Communities Act is a key piece of the constitution, but with brexit, most of its clauses will be repealed and replaced by the 2018/19 Great Brexit Act

          back to the article though, this is something which should have been considered years ago. its to late to legislate for Facebook and Google, Equifax, Experian, Microsoft and IBM, but I would think if any of them tried merging there would be considerations made.

  4. israel_hands
    Paris Hilton

    Work Those Ethics

    Am I the only one hoping Meredes Bunz delivered her speech while gyrating round a pole as Viscount Ridley showered her with money?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Work Those Ethics

      She decided to work on ethics after her Bunz parents dared to call her Mercedes?

      Anyway someone has to warn Mr. Ridley about the upcoming Daily Bot... nowhere is written AI will be used for noble tasks only... it will be used to make money, and if Mr. Ridley habits can generate money, a bot will track them down and make money from them.

  5. Tikimon Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "Indeed, thinking about it, I'm a lot more comfortable with a bot knowing about my internet habits through my usage than a person, because a person might tell the Daily Mail..."

    How stupid can a man get? Does he not know the bot's purpose is to find "interesting information" and hand it on to HUMANS?

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Here's an idea. If it's other peoples data don't they own copyright on it?

    And hasn't Google made a specialty of f**king peoples right to get paid for their data (IE their "works") specifically for this purpose?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    University of Westminster ethicist Mercedes Bunz - wow someone's parents were taking the piss!!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    House of Lords should be like jury service.

    There should be a random selection from electoral register with 15 yr term (mandatory sentance).

    That should make the elected shower more accountable, with a body of electors on one side to throws the turds back at the commons.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: House of Lords should be like jury service.

      Have you met the average voter? Did you wash your hands afterwards?

  9. EnviableOne Bronze badge
    Go

    New constitution?

    One election, Parliment elected by alternative vote, so each constituency has a representative.

    Upper house elected by PR based on the first choices in the parliment vote

    All members to be paid the median wage of their constiuency (for upper house this is the national one)

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