back to article Tech sector risks GM-crops-like crackdown if it doesn't win back trust, warns privacy watchdog

Innovators are losing the battle for people's trust and facing a kickback where technologies are banned before they have been fully discussed, according to the tech lead at the UK's data watchdog. "We're living in an age of anger... people feel disempowered, unhappy, marginalised and not listened to," Simon McDougall told …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It pains me to say but these companies won't give up the data or the means they use to get it without one almighty fight. The GDPR was supposed to change things and I'm hoping that over time it will but as it stands they are largely ignoring it. Whether it's government or corporations privacy on the internet is now all but an illusion and I don't see how we can get that back. Sure there are ways to hide but who in the general population is going to do that when they just sign up for everything anyway giving away their data for next to nothing. Even data breaches don't get much attention really and as the negative results of those breaches are hardly reported people don't seem to put two and two together. I'm just waiting for browsing history to get leaked from somewhere then you might get people properly sitting up and taking notice.

  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Crack down on lopsided EULAs

    One to force a little more ethics into the likes of FraudBook and Slurp is to void their one sided EULAs and force them to use more more balanced that has stringent privacy protections built in. Then suing for breach of contract because an interesting and viable option.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Crack down on lopsided EULAs

      Is there actually a contract in some cases? AIUI a contract is an agreement to provide goods and/or services in return for a consideration. A consideration is usually payment. If the user pays nothing what then is the consideration? If it's the provision of the user's data then exactly what would be the breach of contract if the vendor uses that data? Certainly until precedent could be established it could prove very expensive to sue as it might be hard to establish exactly what implied contract might be in place.

      Another aspect is that as far as consumers are concerned EULAs may already be void right-pond as consumer protection is stronger here.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Crack down on lopsided EULAs

        "Another aspect is that as far as consumers are concerned EULAs may already be void right-pond as consumer protection is stronger here."

        Except, AFAIK, that's never actually been tested, hence the continuance of these lopsided EULAs. On the rare occasions that they have been challenged, they always seem to get settled out of court. The obvious suspicion is the the people defending the EULAs know damn well they have no leg to stand on and will spend any amount to keep all challanges out of court.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Didn't even read the article, and I agree

    ... because anyone who sees that truth, gets my vote. Thank you "tech lead"!

    Now back I go to FaceBook so that I can be hosed in laughing gas while I read fallacies that tell me what to Live, Laugh, Love for.

  4. Irongut Silver badge

    He's wrong.

    Those of us who understand the issues and what companies like Facebook do have never trusted them and still do not. We have never been users.

    The majority of the populace however do not understand or care about these issues and continue to spam each other with cat lolz, dick pics and likes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I had facebook for a time at the beginning when it was new, I left as it quickly because a cesspool of toxic relationships and toxic people. I didn't notice the privacy side because I haven't seen adverts since very early on from the internet and I also never completed all the data they wanted or completed the countless thousands of surveys. You're right tough, the general population just do not care.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Wow, you're so cool!

  5. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Talking of Facebook, has it crashed? I've been getting "Facebook is offline for maintanance" for the last five hours.

    1. InNY



      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Yup...

        Ta. 24 hours later I'm still getting "offline for maintanance". Wonder how the youngseters are coping.

        1. M.V. Lipvig

          Re: Yup...

          Funny. This is the first I've heard about it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is a wave of Luddite mentality redux that is sweeping the world, and the technology distrust is only the latest symptom. But in this case, as opposed to things like anti vaccine or flat earth types, the distrust is warranted - there is no privacy, no security of data and no way to totally block it off unless you just go off the grid. But it is a situation that works both ways. People expect internet entertainment and sharing for nothing, and companies can't provide something for nothing. Monetizing the technology, especially the internet, has put these two great needs/desires in collision.

    1. Tikimon

      NOT "Luddite", just smart

      "There is a wave of Luddite mentality redux that is sweeping the world..."

      No, there is not. Calling someone a Luddite implies that they will reject a useful technology because they cannot handle or do not want change. Rejecting a New Thing for sound and considered reasons is NOT Luddite behavior. That's good sense being shown by people strong enough to not blindly follow fads and marketing.

      On the other hand, adopting new tech because It's New! is accurately called "gullible." These are the ones calling people like me a Luddite. I've watched wave after wave of new technology roll by, some was good and lasted, some was shite and died out. I'm wise enough to know what I need or don't, and what's a good idea or not.

      Sometimes Old Skull works best anyway. I recently switched to a safety razor instead of gee-whiz cartridge razors. I get a closer shave at five cents per blade versus $1.50 per cartridge that lasts the same time. I frequently use a 1920's hand drill, which goes anywhere, works in the rain, and never needs charging or a new $65 battery. That's not Luddite, that's just good sense.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Fearing change because it is a change is more closely what the Luddites were about. Being suspicious of the motives of the latest snake oil salesman is prudent as he is a liar. The problem with new technologies is accurate differentiating between the useful, nice to have, and snake oil as almost all new technologies are overhyped when they first come out.

      The problem of monetizing the Internet is real but it is also partially a product of Luddite-like thinking about how to generate money. Because something works well on another medium does not mean it translates well to the Internet or that it has implemented correctly on the Internet; think advertising and subscriptions. But many marketing failures cannot grasp there are some fundamental differences between the Internet and the TV even to this day especially when there is the possibility of user interaction (comment sections).

  7. Daedalus Silver badge

    Utter tosh

    The drones will continue to post pictures of their food, pets, and dangly bits regardless of how anybody feels about "privacy". They will continue to gossip online about each other, celebrities and funny looking people on the street.

    The future you are worried about has already happened. Now what are you going to worry about?

    1. An ominous cow heard

      Re:Now what are you going to worry about?

      Blipverts, and/or their targeted Interweb equivalent?

      Or maybe this:

      "What do you want?"

      "We want information."

      "Well you won't get it."

      "By hook or by crook, we will"

      "I am not a number. I am a free man. I will not be pushed, profiled, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! I will not make any deals with you. I've deleted my account. My life is my own!"

      (manic laughter)

      Be seeing you.

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