Headline June 27, 2015/ "' THY PRIVACY..... [versus]........BIG DATA "'

"' THY PRIVACY..... [versus]........


''NOT WANTED :  DEAD OR ALIVE'' .........The World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless, lovingly called, !WOW!, the world over: is the exclusive ownership of every single student in the world. 

All power, honours, wealth, revenues, recognition, progress, changes, advances, operations, laws, bye-laws, data, country hosts, is for the  ''elected students body'' to decide. AND

The whole world : grand parents, parents, professors, teachers, all present and future science and art subjects, every discipline the world can ever conceive is welcome. But for students :  ''One share-peace-piece.'' 

INFORMATION ECONOMICS AND FAIRNESS  took centre stage one day some over, a few months ago when:

Hal R. Varian, chief economist of Google  and   Ashkari Soltani, chief technologist of the Federal Trade Commission, participated in a conference on  big data  and  privacy at  Temple University's  Fox School of Business in Philadelphia.

Before an audience of professors and business school students, Mr Varian, a professor emeritus at the  School of Information  at the  University of California, Berkeley, described the potential upsides of price discrimination:

The practice of charging people different amounts for the same product, based on their age, location, creditworthiness or other details specific to them.

''It is largely beneficial,'' Mr. Varian told the audience, citing examples like discount offers for seniors. He added :  '' You charge higher to people who can afford to pay higher prices.''

The argument was not unfamiliar to Mr. Soltani, a former student of Mr.Varian's at Berkeley and a data privacy researcher whose work once helped the F.T.C. bring a landmark case against Google. 

But when it came time for his presentation, Mr.Soltani took the opposite stance:

Arguing that online data mining is so opaque to consumers that it can lead to unfair financial treatment. A few years ago, as a technical consultant for an investigative series in The Wall Street Journal.  

Mr.Soltani said, he he studied how a consumer-profiling company collected details about the specific car makes, models and colours that individual shoppers looked at online, as well as the dates and number of times they looked at each car.

When those shoppers subsequently made appointments to see the cars, he said, the company shared details about their online activities with their local dealerships.

Knowing how interested a customer is in a specific car, Mr.Soltani said, could give car dealers an unfair advantage in price negotiations. 
''They are potentially able to extract higher prices,'' he told the audience.
[Mr. Varian and Mr.Soltani both said they were speaking for themselves, not for their employers.]

The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for protecting consumers from deceptive or anticompetitive practices by companies. It has long hired computer scientists, as well as technically minded lawyers, to work on investigations of individual firms.   

BUT in 2010, in an effort to help regulators keep current with the rapid advances in technology   -and understand the possible risks to consumers of novel uses of their data,  the agency created the position of chief technologist. And in just a few years-

It has established a tradition of appointing gadflies to the post, experts who have poked holes in the companies assurances that they were keeping personal details safe and private.

The commission first tapped Edward W. Felton, a computer science professor at Princeton, to serve as chief technologist; he came to the agency after discovering security flaws in voting machines.

**More recently,  Latanya  Sweeney, a professor of government and technology at Harvard, served in the role; she demonstrated that it was possible to identify patients by name in the nameless medical records that hospitals routinely released to researchers.**

The Honour and Serving of  ''Laws and Technology Operational Research'' continues. Thank you for reading, and I hope sharing, and may be learning something.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet.Wireless:

''' The World's Trampoline '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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