Some Thoughts on the Cell Phone Locational Privacy Hullabaloo

by on May 3, 2011 · 1 comment

I spaced out and completely forget to post a link here to my latest Forbes column which came out over the weekend.  It’s a look at back at last week’s hullabaloo over “Apple, The iPhone, and a Locational Privacy Techno-Panic.” In it, I argue:

Some of the concerns raised about the retention of locational data are valid. But panic, prohibition and a “privacy precautionary principle” that would preemptively block technological innovation until government regulators give their blessings are not valid answers to these concerns. The struggle to conceptualize and protect privacy rights should be an evolutionary and experimental process, not one micro-managed at every turn by regulation.

I conclude the piece by noting that:

Public pressure and market norms also encourage companies to correct bone-headed mistakes like the locational info retained by Apple.  But we shouldn’t expect less data collection or less “tracking” any time soon.  Information powers the digital economy, and we must learn to assimilate new technology into our lives.

Read the rest here. And if you missed essay Larry Downes posted here on the same subject last week, make sure to check it out.

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