[plug] Reciprocal privacy policy (warning - long reply)

Steve Boak sboak at westnet.com.au
Sat Oct 26 15:44:02 UTC 2013

On 26/10/13 12:00, Simon Wise wrote:
> On 25/10/13 12:31, Steve Boak wrote:
>> "by the use of my personal data, (including email contents, location, 
>> monetary,
>> heath status etc) you are implicitly accepting the terms and 
>> conditions that
>> follow. If you do not agree with these conditions, then you must not 
>> collect,
>> use or distribute my personal data in any way or form".
>> I have to agree to such conditions before I can use their software, 
>> why should
>> they not have to do the same if they want to use mine?
>> Thoughts anybody?
> As a gesture you might want to do it, but you are unlikely to be in a 
> position to enforce it, and the "they" you refer to are unlikely to 
> read or bother about it in any way. I guess any usefulness as a 
> gesture is some kind of reminder to like minded souls of a bunch of 
> issues you care about. But a question ...

I guess the first admission is that yes, I did write this after having 
read the terms and conditions of a service advertised to me in glowing 
terms how it would enhance my life, only to find out that it would make 
me responsible for any failings on their part. (Have a look at 
https://digitalmailbox.com.au/ for the T&C that annoyed me and 
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1890026&p=7#r122 for 
my comments - In effect the company guarantees to it's suppliers that I 
will open AND READ every mail sent through their system, but won't 
(can't) guarantee that they will deliver said mail to me.)

And the second admission is that I agree my opinions are unlikely to 
ruffle the status quo of the corporate world, even if my point is valid. 
But what is the difference between a company saying to me that 'by the 
use of this software you agree to be bound by these terms and 
conditions' (whether I read them or not), and me saying to them 'by the 
use of my personal data you agree to be bound by my terms and 
conditions'? Apart from the fact that big companies have more money to 
send on lawyers of course...

     What purpose does it serve to assert that you too wish to join the 
"this stuff is owned by me" push?

It's not so much of the "this stuff is owned by me" because I want to 
sell it, but that I (think I should) have the right to say what is done 
with 'my' information. Once upon a time it was almost a beheading crime 
to be caught rifling through and reading someone else's mail, now it's 
routine to use the contents of your private email to target advertising 
at you. If it's so common now that everyone takes it for granted and 
almost no-one is bothered by it, it shouldn't make much difference to 
the rest of the world if a few stick-in-the-muds like me would like to 
opt out.

I read a lot of technical and environmental material on the 'net, and I 
appreciate being able to pick and choose what I go and look at. I can't 
think of a much worse scenario than only being 'fed' links (and 
advertising) with similar opinions and points of view to what I have 
recently been reading. I like to see both sides of the fence and look to 
the radical horizon, not be spoon fed what some web robot 'thinks' I  
want to see. The feeds I get are guaranteed to be even less relevant if 
that robot is owned by a global advertising conglomerate and is biased 
towards sending me to sites will make them money. Not logging in to 
search engines and clearing my browser cookies regularly helps keep 
things a little more impartial.

Now if someone could come up with a system to show me links to views 
OPPOSING what I have just read, I would be very interested :-)

> If you want to sell the info, who is your intended customer? If you 
> want to keep it a secret why are you not getting more serious about 
> encryption and so forth? If you want some people to see it publicly 
> and yet insist others must ignore it you are dreaming.

I do use encryption on some of my data such as when synchronising 
address books and transferring files across public networks. If I 
encrypted all my mail to everyone, unfortunately only a few percent of 
the recipients, including most major businesses, would be able to read 
it so that isn't going to be an option anytime soon. The global online 
email companies don't want you to encrypt your email, it's worth big 
money in advertising dollars to them to be able to read it.

I have no desire to put my life out in public, and although I am on fb 
so I can see what some of my family have been up to, I only check it 
every week or two and I don't post anything on it myself. I don't see 
any point in standing on a stage yelling about everything I do - if I 
want to talk to someone I pick up the phone or send them an email.

So I suppose I have just contradicted that last paragraph by standing on 
the PLUG stage and spouting my opinion :-)


> Simon
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Steve Boak, (08) 9756 0662, P.O. Box 240, Nannup, WA 6275
Engin VOIP number (08) 6461 6187 (local number in Perth)

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