Data Mine

Yesterday, I was listening to Bruce Schneier’s talk at DefCon 15. As always, fantastic. While some of it was familiar, one new bit I picked up from him is the legal ramifications of not owning the data we create. We don’t know when it’s being used for secondary purposes.

“And the 4th Amendment doesn’t work to protect our privacy (secure our person and papers) when our papers are not in our desks, they’re in our SMS messages, ISPs and Google, etc.” – Bruce Schneier

Ouch. I’m not sure lack of Constitutional protection is mentioned in ‘I agree to the terms and conditions’. Puts a whole different price tag on ‘free’ services.

It also helps me better grok the Vendor Relationship Managment project Doc Searls is heading. If individuals control their data – the chances of massive data breaches1 seem less likely, as do the Facebooks. Plus, individuals start to have some idea of the market value of their information. Hint – it’s greater than zero.


“How much of my data are you letting me control today? That’s pretty much all that matters to anyone, imho. – Dave Winer”

“I don’t deal with applications, I deal with data” – John Gruber, Daring Fireball

“Braininess is open data standards and protocols, not free APIs that trap data and developers in the holding pens of big companies. Sorry, did that in the 1990s.” – David Young, Joyent

P.S. For those of you playing along at home: BINGO!

1. Techdirt does a great job of tracking this issue.