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Re: <nettime> Evgeny Morozov: How much for your data? (LMD)
Rob Myers on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 08:56:30 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Evgeny Morozov: How much for your data? (LMD)


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On 23/08/14 06:37 AM, Patrice Riemens wrote:
> 
> by Evgeny Morozov
> 
> [...]
> 
> The realisation that data produced by everyday appliances, smart 
> toothbrushes or smart toilets, can be monetised has produced an 
> interesting resistance against the data-hoarding attitudes of
> Silicon Valley giants, who mint billions while we only get free
> services. A populist critique has emerged: let’s challenge these
> data monopolies and replace them with small-scale entrepreneurs.
> Each of us can become a freelance data stockbroker with our own
> portfolio — selling access to our genome if a pharmaceutical
> company needs it, or disclosing our location for a discount at a
> local restaurant.

The flaw with this, both in its capitalist "hey come let us get rich
from your data" version and socialist critiques of it which assume
merely that the wrong person is going to get rich from our data, is
that data is only as valuable as the person it represents.

The density map of the value of data under would-be telemetric
capitalism looks suspiciously like the density map of existing wealth.
We're all in static vehicles, but an awful lot of us are driving Trabants.

Locking your data up in a datastore written in Boston or Berlin rather
than Mountain View or the Bay Area doesn't change that.

> If data is treated as property, strong property rights and modern 
> enforcement technologies should ensure that no third party gets a 
> free ride.

But simply protesting that these property rights will be monetized by
the wrong person isn't going to go anywhere, although it will feel
good to have that argument.

> we might ask why the commodity status of information is accepted
> so uncritically.

Because it appeals to the vanity of both right and left.

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