Saturday, March 19, 2016

Three Policies for Pirates

Three policies I'd like to see a Pirate Party (or any forward looking political party) adopt with respect to providers of online services, social networks, communication feeds etc.

1) There should be an option to turn the filter-bubble off. 

If you use an algorithmic filter to prioritise what is of interest to the user within a feed, you MUST also provide a version of the feed without that filter. And an easy way to switch it on or off.

2 Everyone owns their own "data-exhaust". 

If you provide a service that gets its value from observing user behaviour you cannot claim exclusive ownership of that data. The user should have an inalienable right to share or license it with anyone else. (You aren't obliged to make it available to others (which might be genuinely arduous) but you can't complain if the user or another company (with the user's consent) figures out how to do it themselves.

3) Service providers must openly explain what data they are mining / inferring from their users. 

Just as packaged foods must explain what ingredients go in to them. Online data-services must explain what they are inferring from your behaviour so that you know what you are revealing to them.

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