Using the Market to Counter Surveillance

by on July 16, 2007 · 0 comments

Ever get frustrated asking your Member of Congress to limit government surveillance and the advance of surveillance technology? Ever even try? Probably not, because you know you wouldn’t get a straightforward answer if you did.

That’s why I was delighted to read about the Seeing Yellow project on Ars Technica. The idea is for people to call and pressure printer manufacturers to let them turn off the tracking function that has been incorporated into many color printers at the behest of the U.S. government. Knowing that consumers care about their privacy, printer manufacturers (and others who learn from their experience) will be inclined not to build surveillance into their products.

It may not happen right away, but active consumerism gives you a vote about government surveillance every time you buy a printer, not just once every two, four, or six years.

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