Sep 162012
 September 16, 2012  Posted by  Business, Misc

The publication of topless photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing by some European publications is distressing, to say the least. Apart from the legal issues concerning invasion of privacy, though, there’s a question in my mind about the lack of organized response by consumers who are offended by such publication.

Rags publish these photos because they know that there’s a market for them and it will drive up sales.  If they lose enough subscribers over their actions, they may be forced to reconsider.

So why haven’t all the pro-privacy people or people who are offended by such publications organized a boycott of every publication that used these pictures?

Why don’t I see web sites where consumers pledge that although they have been regular subscribers to or readers of [insert name of rag], they have decided to cancel their subscription and not read the publication for at least two months to express their disapproval of the rag’s invasion of privacy?

I wonder how many customers would boycott.

Yes, lawsuits are helpful – if the penalties outweigh the profits the rag made in publishing the pictures, but a court’s ruling may not mean as much long-term as a consumer uprising.

Just as consumers can influence browser privacy by using browsers that are more privacy-protective, so too may we be able to influence publishers.

Am I advocating consumer pressure to achieve censorship or to restrict freedom of press? No.  I am, however, advocating that we put our money where our mouths are on privacy.

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