Title: How did we let the Digital Surveillance Economy come into existence? And what can we do about it?
Consumers have become dependent on gratis computing services. But the World Wide Web has been subverted to enable the monitoring of consumers' identities, behaviour, attitudes and references. Data is acquired, in part consensually, but mostly surreptitiously, and the data is trafficked among industry participants. The resulting rich digital personae are used as the basis for targeted advertising.
Consumers get convenience, but with that comes a life laid bare to marketing corporations, manipulation of their behaviour, high costs through micro-pricing, and discrimination by marketers against digital personae who they don't want as customers. Corporations need to be weaned off their dependence on the digital surveillance economy, and a reasonable balance achieved among stakeholder interests. For that to happen, active intervention by policy-makers is needed.
Roger Clarke's is a consultant of long standing, whose focus is on strategic and policy aspects of advanced information technologies, including eBusiness, information infrastructure, and data surveillance and privacy. He interprets information technologies so as to make their relevance, opportunities and impacts accessible to executives and managers. He has also provided expert evidence in a variety of areas.
Following a mid-career decade at the Australian National University, he has held longstanding Visiting Professorships in Computer Science at ANU, and in cyberspace law at the University of NSW. He has also spent many years on the Board of the Australian Privacy Foundation, and is Company Secretary of the Internet Society of Australia.