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Privacy, prosumer law & competition workshop, 2 June EDPS


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Privacy, prosumer law & competition workshop, 2 June EDPS

  1. 1. WORKSHOP ON PRIVACY CONSUMERS, COMPETITION AND BIG DATA EDPS/EPARL 2 JUNE 2014 Professor Chris Marsden, University of Sussex Thematic discussion 3: How to encourage a market for privacy-enhancing services
  2. 2. Quinn Norton: Everything Is Broken  “Facebook and Google seem very powerful,  but they live about a week from total ruin all the time.  They know the cost of leaving social networks individually is high, but en masse, becomes next to nothing.  Windows could be replaced with something better written.  Corporations and governments would rather bend to demands than die.  These entities do everything they can get away with—but we’ve forgotten that we’re the ones that are letting them get away with things.” 
  3. 3. Regulating Privacy  Much of what I am going to say is taken from my book with Oxford’s Ian Brown:  (2013) Regulating Code, MIT Press  See Ian Brown (2012) Privacy attitudes, incentives and behaviours  attitudes-incentives-and-behaviours"
  4. 4. Conclusion: more privacy regulation  Social networks already regulate user privacy  Dominant and arguably irreplicable advantages  They dictate which code can be used  Widespread regulation of social networking  Including in US – Federal Trade Commission 1. European Court cases –data retention and deletion 2. European Parliament pressure post-Snowden 3. NRA decisions on cloud, Streetview and others  New European Data Protection Regulation?
  5. 5. Social networks: US solutions instead of EU non-enforcement  Facebook’s 400m European users  28 national regulators of personal data.  Facebook regulator relocated in 2006  from Dublin to Portarlington, Co. Laois  Google is also regulated from Portarlington.  Ireland on edge of bankruptcy in 2009-13
  6. 6. Ireland unsinkable aircraft carrier?  While German state and federal regulators and others may rattle sabres at Facebook,  Irish regulator audited Facebook 2012  insisting on remedial action on nine counts
  7. 7. 50 ways to leave Facebook  Not sufficient to permit data deletion  as that only covers the user’s tracks.  Interconnection and interoperability,  more than transparency and  theoretical possibility to switch.  Prosumers to interoperate to permit exit  Lower entry barriers lead to increased consumer welfare
  8. 8. Prosumers not super-users  Web 2.0 and related tools make for active users, not passive consumers  US administrative & academic arguments  self-regulation may work for geeks,  but what about the other 99%?  European regulatory space  more fertile ground to explore prosumerism  as both a market-based and  citizen-oriented regulatory tool
  9. 9. We are silk worms not oil
  10. 10. Personal data is NOT metaphorical oil in digital economy  unless bodies have seeped into the sediment.  Personal data accumulate with our journey into cyberspace  Better metaphor is silk,  woven into tapestry of online personality.  Potential to move beyond a caterpillar-like role as a producer of raw silk  Ability to regenerate into a butterfly or moth?
  11. 11. Silkworms that turned  Weaving of a web by billions of prosumer-created sites.  Silk created tapestries Wikipedia, Facebook and MySpace  Arguably loss of ownership led MySpace decline.  Prosumer boycott led by those preferring control of own data  cocooned in their own personal form: chrysalis or pupae  Such boycotts rapidly create a landscape of zombie users:  ancient Hotmail and MySpace accounts that are undead, unchecked, unmourned, useless to advertisers, and  antithetical to network effects that feed a successful business.
  12. 12. Facebook bought WhatsApp: $18b  Why? WhatsApp is free  500m users  50bilion daily messages  Facebook IM client specific to mobile 1. So why are FBK buying WhatsApp? 2. Is there a market for free messages? 3. Is Facebook a monopoly?  Answers: No, No, No – say “experts”  Who owns the experts?
  13. 13. Valuation is right
  14. 14. €1trillion research question  Why do social networks decline? MySpace/Bebo/Orkut/Friends Reunited  Is the visceral nature of offline social networking responsible for success online  dating sites approximate strong human contact better: Facebook, Tindr – Twitter?  Or bad code, European data protection  and a more ‘aspirational’ demographic  Facebook v. MySpace/Bebo
  15. 15.  Experts have severely criticized timing and content of FTC settlement  Competition investigation:  proposal to EC Feb 2013  Immediately rejected by competitors Google FTC and EC cases Source: Google proposal leaked to SearchEngineLand, 25/4/13
  16. 16. Settled with US FTC 3/1/2013  Grimmelman argued: • “If the final FTC statement had been any more favourable to Google • I’d be checking the file metadata • to see whether Google wrote it.”
  17. 17. Internet Science: evidence-based policy  Until we have empirical evidence  how personal data control affects social networking business models  We are arguing from old economic models that we know to be inappropriate  New tools and methods need developing:  Neuro-scientists and evolutionary economists 
  18. 18. Developing study of code regulation  Similarities and cross-over with complexity science network science web science/graph theory  EC Network of Excellence on Internet Science
  19. 19. More information  @ChrisTMarsden   