CFP2000 WFPD: Mark Ackerman's raw notes

These notes are raw and not post-processed. They were all taken while the workshop was going on, and hence are not polished and not guaranteed complete or necessarily even balanced -- many scribes took extensive notes on only parts of the entire discussion.

How to get businesses to buy into privacy - need institutional
adoption; need privacy Chernobyl; need businesses devoted to privacy

UTexas: comparison to anti-nuclear movement (media savvy, atttactive
cultural norms, organized political base able to be mobilized);
creatng a populace that is cogniti8vely prepared and socially
resourceful to understand and react to a "Chernobyl event"

privacy threats: individual autonomy, initimate relations (the private
sphere) , government/citizen power, merchant/consumer rpower, cultural

from newsmedia (PET developers?): enemies are governments, hackers,
advertiser, indivdual is victim and hero, little discussion of
intimacy, cultural autonomy, and social discrimination (tho in elite

John Gilmore: One of the things free software does for business is it
drops the cost of cooperation.  What we discovered at Cygnus, we
discovered taht people would pull them into niches that we had never
heard of, but they turned out to be profitable niches.  ...We stumbled
on this market becuse people out in the world tried to do this with
our products, because they needed to.  By dropping the cost of
cooperation, we got to cooperate with people we didn't even know
about.  ...People said I have a weekend free, I can see how hard this
is.  We built a relationship with these people, not only with
contributors but also with employees.  ...You mean I can quit day job,
and do this thing I do for fun as my day job?  Ifyou're using a
freeware product, if you don't like it, you can change it, if you have
the programming skill, and there are enough people out there that have
the programming skill, if people like your changes, the rest of the
Net will download it, and use your version.  If people at the point of
control ..., the point of control will just move elsewhere as people
(on the Net) react.

FreeSwan is an effort to write free software to affect social change,
you get real power over the world by being at the top of a
distribution pipeline for the rest of the world.  I used to be in
charge of the gnu debugger...if we heard back (on the list) that we
had screwed up, that's immediate feedback, by what you put in there
affects thousands of people the day after you put it out.  (FreeSwan -
automatically encrypting network traffic.  The idea is to get the fax
effect, if only 2 poeple in the world have it, it's not very valuable,
the value to the 10thousandth and first buyer is much higher.)

If you understand the dynamics of the free software market, how people
follow excellence, and how you influence the world by providing
excellence, then you can do a lot of for social change by making it
available to people, and they will take it up.

Deidre Mulligan: what resonates with the public has perplexed privacy
advocates for a while.

Collin Bennett: Chernobyl metaphor suggests problem come from a
high-tech problem.  That's not necessarily the case.  The second
problem is that the Chernobyl and both tech and humans fail; I'm more
worried about the survellience problems when the tech work perfectly,
when the tech work perfectly as conscious design, that worries me a
lot more.

[Long discussion of what value of Chernobyl metaphor is.  ]

    Secure function evaluations - interests similar to other people, but
    not have to know what interests are; useful technical aid to reduce
    the policy issues that need to be addressed.

RC: You've got to do your homework, you've got to know the background,
got to know the players, the interests, the interests that the
interests are representing, when the opportunities arise, when the
disasters arise, or are threateneing to arise, or just stupid things
that the media raises, then you've got to be ready to move, you've got
to have done your homework.

Audience: It was very easy to articulate the threat of Chernobyl.
I've had a lot of trouble articulating the privacy threat to the

DM: It's more important to let people take action than to clearly
articulate the problem.  With privacy, you know it when you lose it,
people have different articulations, people have 3 different <...>,
individual autonomy, fairness, confidentiality (info
sent to a third party not intercepted by someone else).

RC: I've got 4 dimensions, but there are few people out there in the
real world that can play those abstract games, when a particular
problem/opportunity arises, it arises in a particular situation,
people won't vvote for privacy (per se), but they will vote for
particular measures.

Raab:  Government not singular, not monolithic

Audience: Right now peoplea re getting a lot for surrendering their
privacy, they're getting new computers, getting free software, the
scary thing to me is how willing the public is to surrender their
privacy for goods and services.

Rohan ?: I'm not hearing business models, I'm hearing models for
activists.  A complimentary thread has to be in addition to when
business does a bad thing, how to you stop them, in addition needs to
be how to design organizational or insitutional incentives to 
businesses do the right thing.  This incredible push to do data mining
and sell it to other business, beginning to see other business models.
Focus on word relationship, msut yield infomration in relationship,
but the whole thing mediated by trust, what are the business models in
which there are inherent incentive to build and then profit by trust,
what are the conditions under which customers can give you more and
more information.

Lorrie Cranor: Technologies designed for something else but very
useful for survellience.  Electornic tolls were not designed for
survellience, but they can be used for it.  NYC tollcards are another
technology that is very useful for survellience.  When technologies
when they sell their ideas it has privacy built in and it's not any
more costly because it's been there since the beginning.

Audience: Feature creep, the real decision points are made more on a
customer service level, not on an ontological level.  (Gave an example
from a dating service - provided a feature 1.5 years after release
that allowed people to see what other areas people have posted into,
even tho identities were supposed to be secret (eg, long-term romance
people find out that people also into fetishes).

RC: Don't think of EU when you think of legislation, there are other
models, think New Zealand.

Colin Bennett: Privacy is not just an internet issue, there is a
misperception with the advent of the web that privacy is a internet
issue, privacy is a lot deeper than that.  It's a management, it's a
business problem, not just a technology problem.

Lenny Foner
Last modified: Sun Apr 23 15:33:26 EDT 2000