Cory Doctorow talks common sense about privacy in describing a huge data leak whose immediate owner is as yet unknown. Cory writes, in part:
The brokers don’t think they were breached. PDL founder Sean Thorne hypothesized that some of the data his company nonconsensually gathered on 1.5 billion people was sold to a normal customer who mishandled it and that is “their responsibility.”
Oxydata exec Martynas Simanauskas said that while his company sells its nonconsensual dossiers on terms that require its customers to manage the data conservatively, “there is no way for us to enforce all of our clients to follow the best data protection practices and guidelines.”
They’re totally right about one thing: once you gather and sell this data, you can’t control it — it’s pluripotent, omnitoxic, and immortal. It’s nuclear waste.
The thing they’re wrong about is the wisdom of selling that pluripotent, omnitoxic, immortal toxic waste, given that they can’t control it.
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