EDBT: the talks about privacy on the web

Several talks on this conference, including one of the keynotes, were dedicated to the privacy on the web. A significant part of the keynote talk by Serge Abiteboul “Knowledge out there on the Web” was dedicated to the increasing demand for privacy. he argued that the the users do not want to store their personal data at one one system only (like Google+ or other), and that they are not going to stop being concerned about privacy.

This led to the discussion about PIM (personal information management systems), “personal” clouds and a “different direction of search”. The latter means, that a person does not want to share his PIM with companies, but (s)he want to know, “what he is interested in”, so (s)he wants to search.

And my problem is… that I d not understand, what’s the problem! First, as “a person”, I do not mind at all to have “everything in one place”, actually, it makes me really upset, when I can’t. Second, as somebody being in industries for a while, I do not see what’s the difference between “they” searching “me” as a perspective consumer, or “me” searching “them” for the same reason. Because the companies need to attract my search anyway, and they will use the same or similar technique which they use now, like “search engine optimization”, and the moment you hit their site by your search and/or the moment you purchase something from them… they know something about you. And they can exchange data…

And to be honest, I do not care whether they know I travel to Finland or like the Easy Spirit shoes:). I love to receive special offers :))

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “EDBT: the talks about privacy on the web

  1. Hi Hettie!

    Thank you for inviting me to your blog!

    I was the same way re. privacy: I don’t care if “they” know a little bit about me. But it turns out, what they are able to collect about you is far from innocent shoe preferences details. I don’t care if they know I purchased a skateboard and am looking for a pair of DC shoes to match. But I hate it when Google or anyone else insists on me providing them with my phone no, or my city of birth, or my mother’s maiden name(even if for security reasons, just like everybody else!), or my physical location. It is super-easy to lose track of what is actually collected about you, before it turns out that someone already has all the info to track you on your work-home-typical-weekend path with 95% accuracy. This freaks me out, and knowing (virtually) someone who’s been stalked in RL based on their foot fingerprint… I am now very careful about disclosing any info about myself.

    On the other hand, there is such a thing as a virtual identity. It is something your potential employer would be very curious about. It is your personal and professional presence on the net. And it can certainly be built over time. It would be stupid not to use the hyperverse as a tool for self-promotion. So you DO want some sort of info about you on the net. Very particular info in just the right proportion.

    And another random personal issue: I hate it when I search for something about Russia in English, and Google substitutes the search with Russian results. Because it assumes (rightfully) that I can read in Russian. The problem is, if I wanted to find the Russian news, I’d be searching in Russian. I am looking for Russian news in English, because I want them in English. This just freaks me out! “Don’t assume you are smarter than me and you know what I want! Because I am a human and you are just a stupid search engine”. And just for that reason I would try to disclose as little info about myself as possible. Even if they are not stalking me, they are complicating [some very minuscule aspect of] my life. And this isn’t what machines are meant for.

  2. yea, that’s why I decided to separate my professional blog from my personal blog, and do not even give references between them. And I am not on Facebook, or Google Plus, or whatever. For the rest of the details I am mostly fine with “them “having any of my information – being a data professional I know that when it’s too much data… it’s hard to manage, and to find stuff :)). And in any case, nobody can know my thoughts if I do not share them. And nobody can get my immortal soul 🙂

    Also, you can subscribe for updates, if you find this blog useful for your professional development:).

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