Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Seminar 4 Position Statement: Dr Gilad L. Rosner, Internet of Things Privacy Forum

The Distraction of Transparency & Consent when Understanding Privacy
By Dr Gilad L. Rosner
Founder, Internet of Things Privacy Forum
Visiting Researcher, Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute
Member, Cabinet Office Privacy and Consumer Advocacy Group
bit.ly/grosner  |  gilad@giladrosner.com
@GiladRosner  |  @IoTPrivacyForum

Transparency does not achieve privacy goals. It is part of what are
commonly known as 'fair information principles.' As the name states,
these principles are about achieving fairness, not privacy. Moreover,
the principle of transparency has its roots in the concept of autonomy -
if you do not know how data about you is being collected or used, then
you cannot be a fully autonomous human being. However, there is a
tremendous emphasis on transparency and consent as vital goals in the
treatment of personal data; goals that serve the aims of privacy. I
argue that transparency and consent are de minimus considerations that
do not serve privacy goals. In their absence, data collectors are merely
spying on people, but in their presence, they only serve to inform but
not protect. Commercial entities are very proud of their transparency
efforts, but the danger is that ballyhooing transparency (and consent)
distracts from more important privacy considerations: user control,
rights, informational self-determination, the bias towards opt-out, and

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