nav search
Data Center Software Security Transformation DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes BOFH

back to article
Legal boffins poke holes in EU lawmaker's ePrivacy proposals

Gold badge
WTF?

I don't want to be told I'm being tracked. I want the option to tell them "No"

And for it to mean "No tracking."

I think we are a long f**king way from any benefit being shown to the person being tracked but a lot of profit being shown to the people doing the tracking.

That makes me a cash cow and them the farmers.

Not acceptable.

15
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't want to be told I'm being tracked. I want the option to tell them "No"

> Not acceptable.

Things would work a lot better if, instead of having a random whinge in the comments section of a random article on a random blog, you would make your views known to those who can actually benefit from knowing them.

It is not like the European Commission make it exactly difficult for anyone to contact them. You can phone, email, write a letter, walk into the EC building in Brussels, or go to any of the Europe Direct offices present in most major cities in Europe.

If for some reason you would rather feel inclined to deal with the LIBEs, their email address is libe-secretariat@ep.europa.eu, or you can write to any of the individual members (they *all* represent you, assuming you are a EU citizen, so take your pick. Mr Moraes is actually alright, btw). Again, you can also go through Europe Direct and ask them to forward your message to them, which can be more effective.

This is called democracy for a reason and is what you pay your taxes for, so might as well get your money's worth.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: I don't want to be told I'm being tracked. I want the option to tell them "No"

That makes me a cash cow and them the farmers.

...On the other hand, it is by and large what pays for the internet. Of all the websites you visit, how many are you paying for?

2
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't want to be told I'm being tracked. I want the option to tell them "No"

> ...On the other hand, it is by and large what pays for the internet.

That would not be entirely correct. While it is true that *a handful* of companies have become incredibly rich thanks to selling ads on the internet, it does not follow that stomping all over individual privacy would have been necessary for them (or anyone else) to succeed.

Out of that handful of companies amassing so much money, some good things have come out in technological and societal terms. Things like street view and Google Translate are quite cool and provide a convenience and level of service that would not have existed otherwise (the only other actor with the power to implement solutions at that scale, governments, would have baulked at both ideas). However, there is a good chance that both could have been implemented more openly and transparently and without having privacy as an afterthought.

And there we are only talking about perhaps two dozen companies in the whole world: the likes of Google, Amazon, etc. For the other millions of operators being on the web is more of a necessity/convenience in order to reach their audience.

That a percentage of those "long-tail" sites get financed through the sale of advertisement, a) does not change the fact that selling advertisement does not have to be done in ways incompatible with individual privacy, and b) a number of those sites exist for the sole purpose of selling advertising and, to be honest, I do not think they would be missed much if they were to disappear.

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't want to be told I'm being tracked. I want the option to tell them "No"

This is called democracy [...]

Europe democratic? hahaha

2
11
Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't want to be told I'm being tracked. I want the option to tell them "No"

> Europe democratic? hahaha

It is entirely what you want to make of it. So what have you actually done?

5
0
Bronze badge
Big Brother

Legal is only one part of the war on privacy

Software and hardware can help in some respects, such as the standard for wifi that uses random MAC addresses for discovery and only uses it's real MAC when a connection is made. Saying that, even that has been implemented wrong in phones and some linux distributions, so needs fixing as well as implementing elsewhere and for bluetooth.

Let me opt out of everything. The internet was here before people and companies monetised it for their own gain. It will survive and continue to allow people to communicate even if the stalking/tracking gets stopped.

Noticed more sites are trying to read the html5 canvas of my browser as a way of further fingerprinting me. So as well as random VPN's, browser User-Agent randomly changing every 30 minutes, adverts Pi-Holed, and the odd screen res change, im now changing my canvas fingerprint more often (Canvas Defender). Yes I could use Tor/Tails but I don't want to fill in capcthas all day or login to my sites via random exit nodes.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Dreamtime...

I have a dream (because I can't see it being adopted) where the de facto owner of data is each individual from whom it is drawn. For example, if I have a contract with a utility, there is a certain core of data intrinsic to the relationship - name, address, bank account details & monthly or quarterly usage. The contractual relationship is entered into and I provide those details. The quid pro quo is that I pay for the service and I get the utility but the data is mine. I've given permission for it to be used only to service the account and for nothing else. Any additional data, such as more frequent usage data from 'smart' (intrusive) metering or extended usage of existing data can be requested by the utility but it's MY data, available to me in a form I can read and only available to the utility if I agree and at a reasonable market price.

Clearly, most users don't want streams of data arriving as CSV, JSON or XML in their inbox but that's where there's an opportunity for an interesting type of business that warehouses all this data. It would compete on reputation for security and ability to provide useful analysis; mashing up shopping bills with gas usage or local weather with local robberies or an inverse correlation of fitbit stats with TV watching.

I think it's a demonstrable fallacy that users get sufficient value from free products, such as Gmail or Facebook etc. The torrent of data generated has value far outweighing the service provided and it's time to balance the benefits . I know this won't happen in a world fragmented by national self interest (here's looking at you Conservatoids and Trumplets) and industrial and industrialised lobbying but here's hoping ;)

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Dreamtime...

>I think it's a demonstrable fallacy that users get sufficient value from free products, such as Gmail or Facebook etc. The torrent of data generated has value far outweighing the service provided and it's time to balance the benefits .

Not necessarily disagreeing with you - but can you actually demonstrate that?

My location data has infinitesmal value to Google (it's only worth anything when aggregated with lots of other data). Only rarely does it have any value to me (where the hell am I?).

OK, it's a bit annoying when I get ads that purport to 'know' what I really want from life, but if that's the worst that happens to me today - I'll live with it.

I'd be much more concerned about 'down-the-line' users of my data - phishers, gummints etc. - so I'd be much happier if the gatherer of my data had a responsibility (to me) to protect it.

0
0

Have we been here before?

Am I missing something?

Didn't the ECJ throw out the previous e-whatever stuff, or part of it, because it contravened privacy rights? Is this any different?

Also, doesn't that nag about cookies cover some of the territory? Of course these proposals are bigger, but the principle remains.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Quote: "...proposed ePrivacy law needs significant amendments..."

So what?

Recall that Theresa May has wanted out from under the European Court of Justice for years. This desire is almost certainly because GCHQ does not obey ANY laws ALREADY!!!.

Sixty million citizens of the UK have no "ePrivacy" rights now, and it's quite likely that the privacy intrusion will get worse over time.

The concerns people express about Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others are being voiced about organisations which are at least somewhat in the public space. GCHQ, the NSA and the other Five Eyes organisations are invading our privacy in complete secrecy. The law doesn't affect them one way or another......and no one cares! Imagine!

1
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing