Toronto cops threw the (Face)book at her

Artist Lizz Aston used to think her picture on Facebook helped business until Toronto Police used it as an online suspect lineup.

Source: Toronto cops threw the (Face)book at her


Why wasn’t their database of drivers’ license photos sufficient? Is this why you shouldn’t have real pictures of yourself online? Is this a breach of privacy/trust? Is it permissible for someone to choose to share something with “everyone but the state”?

Is Technology A Zero-Sum Game? | TechCrunch

History suggests that Jack Welch’s philosophy that “a company should be #1 or #2 in a particular industry or else leave it completely” is even more applicable to the tech industry, where the top player can build a sustainable and ever-growing business but everyone else is practically better off getting out.

Source: Is Technology A Zero-Sum Game? | TechCrunch


Is this a problem born, or intensified, by turning people and the data about them into the product with profit margins determined by our willingness to be exploited/manipulated combined with the asymmetry of information about how the exploitation/manipulation is happening?


From comments:

I think a core issue that is not raised, is that if the data is so valuable, why do more people not insist on reaping the rewards of sharing their data?

— anonymous

Creating Victims And Then Blaming Them | TechCrunch

I think this is the perfect example of why I don’t think that “opt-out” (as opposed to opt-in) is *ever* an acceptable policy except in extreme cases.

Perhaps my ears were too finely-tuned by years of education at a liberal college campus. I may be alone; the majority of opinions formed in the last two days seem to agree that people, especially women, must be educated about the privacy implications of Facebook.

There is a discussion to be had about the default privacy settings of Facebook. But when I hear people proclaim the importance of educating these presumably ignorant young women about the dangers of Facebook, it is just a little too close to comfort to those seeking to educate women about the dangers of hemlines that end above the knee.

“You can always opt-out…” No. Please. No. Wait — I’ve reconsidered. That’s fine. Just tell me when you want me to stop hitting you.

Source: Creating Victims And Then Blaming Them | TechCrunch


I think this is how we should feel we have been treated every time some company buys your email address and sends you spam with an option to unsubscribe, every time a service substantially changes its policies and reminds you that if you disapprove then you can always stop using their service (which, given the ubiquity and monopoly of many online services, is near-complete BS and they know it).

That said, if a technology is created, a customer explicitly opts in to using it without bothering to learn about it (even if the information is hard to come by or requires substantial time to learn and education and mental capacity to understand?), and that customer is subsequently harmed by the technology, then is anyone to blame/at fault? If so, who {inventor/developer/manufacturer, retailer/seller, customer, society} is it and how much culpability and responsibility do they bear? Why?