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Comments

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How Google Handles 'Right To Be Forgotten' Requests

yacc143 Re:Try to make me forget. (135 comments)

Well, "writing" is not really an issue. What you might have meant was Gutenberg with the printing press. But even that's wrong, because printing something does not make the document accessible over long time spans. Even if it's published and widely circulated, after a surprising short time, only a tiny subset of the public (these that care about the subject) matter, might remember the original event and publication.

That's what libraries have provided as a service for a long time:

* books (and other publications)
* and an INDEX.

The index was usually by author, by title, by topic, and if you were lucky, by keywords. If something was not indexed, finding the stuff was basically a random happening.

So you could look up (with some work) what Mr X Y has published, or you could lookup "treaties about atomic proliferation", and discover by happenstance, that X Y has played a role in that topic. But that fact was known (as in can be "recalled") by a tiny set of scholars at best.

Now, you can lookup X Y directly, and you'll see not only stuff that X Y has labelled explicitly to be associated with his name (that would be what being an author means), but all kinds of facts, non-facts, lies, and so on about X Y.

So no, writing, nor the printing press are not the technology meant, it's more like "big data" and "automatic indexing".

about a month ago
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How Google Handles 'Right To Be Forgotten' Requests

yacc143 Re:Try to make me forget. (135 comments)

First, moving to a big city has been an option in most of Europe at least since the 19th century.

Second, Privacy legislation like in Germany does work, e.g. it has happened to me at least once that an Agency that I parted in a bad way (basically the customer was very embarrassing for the Agency, and I milked them by basically offering to discuss the dirty laundry of said customer in Court) has offered me a new contract only two years later on. Reason: Storing more than what is necessary is not legal, so most Agencies in Germany do not have databases storing long details about contractors, OTOH, they did have my CV in their DB (I supplied it to them, so they had the right to store it), and their IT could tell them that I had worked in the past (keeping invoices for accounting purposes is a legal requirement). The employees that had dealt with me, had moved on, so the only people who might have commented on my unfriendly (even if legal, I just insisted on my legal rights, which is something many contractors don't know about, and the others usually don't insist on them) behaviour where basically the CEO and the legal counsel. Both not guys you would ask about random potential contractors.

So yes, arguably, the European system of privacy protection DOES (or CAN if enforced) work. Think HIPAA, but applied to all areas, with certain shades of grey (different data about a person requires different levels of protection, e.g. you really really have better an explicit legal requirement to store say the religion or medical data about a person, these are are considered highly sensitive)

The problem is that it's completely incompatible with the way the US system works. (It's not only the Patriot Act, it's also the civil court system with subpoenas and so on, which treat personal data in the US completely incompatible with the EU requirements) And for the moment, the European pols have decided to look away. As always that works for some time, but now the Courts are slowly (really slowly) starting to point out issues.

What the real issue here is, IMHO, is that this "looking away" is giving an unfair competitive edge to US companies, which regularly are doing stuff with European data that would be strictly illegal for European companies. (I happened to have worked as a freelancer for US and for European companies)

So basically, the EU has basically the following options (ordered by personal preference):
1.) enforce the Privacy guideline also against US companies.
2.) drop the Privacy guideline and go with the US model where personal data is owned by corporate entities.
3.) do nothing, meddle through like it's currently doing.

The sad thing is, that if you order it by likelihood of implementation, you get 3-1-2. (3 because that's what the US lobby is working for, because 2 is unlikely, considering that Privacy is a basic (constitutional, even if we don't call it that way in the EU, it's always "Treaty of X" or "Treaty of Y", the pols got burned quite a bit when they tried to create a document called "EU Constitution") Human Right.

 

about a month ago
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How Google Handles 'Right To Be Forgotten' Requests

yacc143 Re:Who didn't see this coming? (135 comments)

Well, it's simple.

The American way of life (or understanding Privacy) is that information about Mr. X, that is collected by some company is the property of said company.

The European concept in Privacy is that any data about Mr. X is basically always the property of Mr. X, and any company wanting to store/process/... that data needs a legal authorization to do so. (That can be explicit by law, there are some general cases where other laws imply the right to process data, e.g. accounting/taxing rules, or by personal consent.) Even if a a company processes data about Mr. X legally, Mr. X has a number of rights (e.g. withdrawal of permission => deletion, correction of data, and naturally as a first, a right to query any data linked with him by the company). The stuff is complicated by the fact that privacy protection is currently regulated by the member countries, based on a common guideline.

If you think about this for a moment, you'll realize that these two concepts are very incompatible. The Politicians decided to paper over this with the "US-EU Safe Harbour Agreement", and currently some of the high level courts in the EU are finding that the Agreement is not exactly working as advertised.

Considering the right to be "forgotten", if you think about this, it's obviously covered by existing law:

* Google is not some kind of Publisher (that would be an argument that they have a legal authorization from laws covering Journalism), so it's a data processor of data that can be linked to an individual.

* Hence the right to delete stuff (withdraw the permission to process data about Mr. X.) obviously applies.

about a month ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

yacc143 Re:Breaking news (619 comments)

Well, at least a Communist Agent Provocateur, I mean what's better to hobble an enemy than a witch hunt?

about a month ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

yacc143 It's not socialism, that's just corelated (619 comments)

It's a simple case of living in system where you need to cheat (be creative, "organize", ...) to fulfill basic requirements.

That means that people who have lived through this deprivation, act funny to people in more normal econimies:

1.) So you need to sacks of cement. Typical response of a Western guy, "okay, let's go buy 2 sacks of cement, and what exact kind do we need?". Somebody tha has lived in the Eastern block might start plotting a "plan" to get his hands at two sacks of cement. That might involve all kinds of criminal or semi-criminal behaviour, be it stealing, defrauding, ... => one of the reason why many building efforts of the communist were not as well built as planned, quite a bit of material disappeared.

2.) Values and perceptions are also shifted. Happened to our family. Our car was stolen in a former eastern country. Very irritating experience, one has to organize how to get home, fill out a ton of irritating insurance forms, and one might wait a couple of weeks for a new car. Our local acquaintances took it as if the theft was "the end of the world" => cars at that time were viewed quite different there.

In my experience, it took at least a decade of "freedom" before the worst of there effects were gone (e.g. I need X => let's see what shops sell X), and multiple decades before it all faded kind of in the background.

Germany is a special case too, because it was a split country (so many things that are not commonly visible are more visible), plus Eastern Germany was one of the economic powerhouses of the Eastern block, so normal people could avoid the deprivation economy quite a bit longer/had to endure it way shorter.

But still, the point stays, if the only way to feed your kids is stealing, most people will start stealing. And if the situation where this is necessary keeps on going for decades, certain habits and values form that cannot be undone quickly.

about a month ago
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The Least They Could Do: Amazon Charges 1 Cent To Meet French Free Shipping Ban

yacc143 It's not just France (309 comments)

Only as a side note, the German speaking countries have also a system where books are not allowed to be sold below the price set by the publisher. Nothing new here.

about a month and a half ago
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Android Leaks Location Data Via Wi-Fi

yacc143 Re:Default behavior, it's in the spec. (112 comments)

Well, auto connect for encryption less wifis is a clear way to get MITM attacked.

But even with encryption the way Wifi work your device will broadcast all networks it tries to autoconnect. An most mobile devices that's equal to "known networks".

about 2 months ago
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Android Leaks Location Data Via Wi-Fi

yacc143 Re:Not just Android (112 comments)

It's insane because it distributes data that is unnecessary.

Depending upon how "hackable" the WLAN is, if an unauthorized person accesses it, it gives the first clue what to enter in all these address boxes online.

Ok, somebody mentioned being able to contact the responsible person if there is an issue. Now that kind of presumes that the typical operator of a home wifi spot knows how to fix the issue or even can fix the issue (it's incredible what kind of trash is being sold nowadays as a wifi router, and in some cases it's the ISP that provides you the router. These are usually even trashier than what users buy on their own).

about 2 months ago
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Code Spaces Hosting Shutting Down After Attacker Deletes All Data

yacc143 AWS support (387 comments)

That makes one wonder, why these gits did not call AWS support to have their account completely locked down first?

about 2 months ago
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EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

yacc143 Re:Ummm (60 comments)

Well, it's about US companies not following EU laws. It's not about spying agencies.

about 2 months ago
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EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

yacc143 Re:The problem with safe harbor (60 comments)

Got even worse news, yes it's illegal, just not by US laws. And if they do it outside of the US, it becomes illegal, if the local laws don't have loophole. In many cases such loopholes might exist, but in some, where in the past the NSA and local buddies relied more on secrecy, it might be actually criminal.

The question is of enforcing stuff, which funnily, the EU High Court is probably one of the places where this might hurt even the US (basically, even US-friendly Politicians that like to snoop on their own citizens cannot just ignore any rulings coming from them, and the EU Court has been known in the past just to follow the law. Sucks that Privacy is a basic human right.)

about 2 months ago
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EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

yacc143 Re:At what point (60 comments)

Hint, using tax heavens is not as simple.

The IRS have it's own idea what's okay or not.

Going through a number of countries, "First World" countries to be exact what makes this feasible. Because for the IRS, their "contact" is in Ireland. Ireland has a number of interesting regulations, as many other countries.

Dealing directly with a "low taxation" place is usually a no go, you invite problems, the nicest would be an extreme level of auditing from your local tax authorities. Instead you invoice stuff multiple times, at each step removing the taxable income away from the place where the authorities care, to a place where they are happy for some tiny fees.

E.g. our local politicians had the curious idea to shift a number of burdens onto entities doing business with tax havens. Interestingly that did not raise any objections, OTOH, a number of people in industries known for jurisdiction shopping anyway commented "well, that means one invoice more, and one UK Ltd. more, sigh."

So yes, US companies can use other tax dodges, but getting kicked out of the EU could mean still some pain.

about 2 months ago
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EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

yacc143 Re:I can see why they didn't investigate (60 comments)

It's not about the spy agencies. It's about US companies having a business model that is very very edge case in relationship to EU privacy laws.

Now the US companies promised to follow EU regulations voluntarily to be allowed to transfer data from the EU to the US. This guy basically has proven that Facebook (just one random example) does not even the business processes setup to to comply with EU laws. And now it has reached a new level, because they basically said that the Safe Harbour Agreement cannot work at all, because the legal environment in the US is incompatible. That's where the NSA comes in, but only on the sidelines, as one of the things that make the SHA not workable.

about 2 months ago
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EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

yacc143 Re:I can see why they didn't investigate (60 comments)

It's not about the spy agencies.

There are many many things in the US legal environment that make it incompatible with EU privacy laws.

about 2 months ago
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EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

yacc143 Re:I can see why they didn't investigate (60 comments)

Nope, fascinatingly, this is not about the NSA as such.

The issue is that for many reasons, US companies cannot implement European standards in data privacy laws. That starts from some lowly county judge issuing subpoenas and at the other end you've got the "America uber alles" chanting federal intelligence apparatus, e.g. NSLs, all kind of regulations in the Patriot Act, giving Teleco providers retroactively immunity for cooperating with the government, and so on.

So now we've got the situation where there is a law that all cars sold need to have seat belts. (privacy) But US companies are allowed to sell cars without seat belts, because they claim that they equivalent protection, because their local guru has prayed for the safety of their customers. (Safe Harbor Agreement). Now somebody has decided to call a spade a spade, and mentioned in the correct forum, that a prayer by whatever guru cannot fulfil the safety regulation in any possible way. (That's the kid that cried that the Emperor is naked.)

Worst from the "Postprivacy" faction is that EU Court has been known to issue rulings in the past that pissed of politicians, just because it's the law. And privacy is a basic human right in the EU treaties. The fact that it's inconvenient for the US companies or many Politicians (whose are seldom champions of privacy, well they only become privacy advocates when it comes to their own privacy) is not really very relevant in the context of a basic right.

about 2 months ago
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EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

yacc143 Re:It's not. But neither is the EU protection (60 comments)

Actually, the US don't get the concept of privacy as it's understood in the EU.

And basically all EU members have legislation about privacy on the books, because it's rooted in the EU data protection directive (basically, that's how the EU legal process works, and in any EU member not having legislation on the books fulfilling the requirements of the directive, the directive becomes directly applying law).

The only thing currently is that the implementation of the law and it's enforcement are done at the member country level, which means that some edge cases might be handled differently in each country. Plus the fines for illegal conduct are usually so tiny, that for international companies paying them is an rounding error in accounting.

That's what the current privacy discussion in the EU is about, moving the implementation of data protection (aka Privacy) laws to the EU level, basically meaning it's the same everywhere, plus adding fines that are big enough that they might make a dint in a balance sheet.

about 2 months ago
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EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

yacc143 Re:It's not. But neither is the EU protection (60 comments)

Well, stopping to spy won't be enough. It's that "US security complex uber alles" tune that would need to be stopped, but D.C. seems to like that perfectly fine.

about 2 months ago
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EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

yacc143 Re:It's not. But neither is the EU protection (60 comments)

Worse, if the question ever ends up before the EU Court, I'm almost certain that it would not look very favourable on this "everything outside Germany is external for purposes of surveillance" idea (substitute Germany for the your favourite EU member country), considering that the "Common Market" makes exactly that thought forbidden by default. As in, you need a very very good reason, and claiming national security might not get you far in the context of an European Court.

about 2 months ago
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EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

yacc143 Re:It's not. But neither is the EU protection (60 comments)

Well, first of all, it's about declaring an obvious fabrication as such (that an US company can, even they wanted to, comply with EU regulations, which US courts have ruled they are not allowed to, so it's obviously a fairy tale). That completely leaves the situation open concerning government aided spying, which by the way, European governments have been trying under cover. Well, vermin likes it dark.

On a commercial side, currently the situation is completely unsatisfactorily: European companies are forced to deal with privacy issues (privacy is a human right written into the EU treaties), while US companies are allowed basically to ignore the rules. So either enforce privacy rules against all comers, or get rid of the limitations on the EU IT industry.

What this might mean is that US companies will have to disassociate themselves rather strongly from their EU subsidiaries so that US courts cannot enforce US "national security laws" against them. (Hint, US companies had no problems supporting Nazi-Germany, creating the necessary legal separation. Google Dehomag if you don't believe me.)

The funny part here is, that the European High Court has had, in the past more than once kicked ass, by enforcing European law over convenient national law in the past (e.g. it has basically killed data retention no matter what the politicians wanted), and Privacy is a basic human right which means that simple economic considerations are irrelevant.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Nokia is sueing Apple over the iPhone.

yacc143 yacc143 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

yacc143 (975862) writes "Nokia is sueing Apple over the iPhone.

The short article in German gives not to much details, but Nokia claims that Apple is violating 10 patents in areas GSM, UMTS (3G WCDMA) and W-Lan-standards."

Link to Original Source

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