The year is 2019 and I can’t buy a good majority of consumer technology because we lack privacy legislation and consumer protections. Example: it’s absurd that my TV came with spyware that can’t be turned off or avoided; I had to stop it from phoning home at the network level. It also came with an arbitration clause and a clause waiving the right to a class action lawsuit.

i think the problem is not lack of legislation. the tech monopoly of big corps exists because people bought it. they sold their privacy for convenience and trendy blinking lights. furthermore, it is impossible for lawmakers to understand new technologies and to do specific laws for each new tech trap and it is impossible to stop the stupidity from people with the "it is ok, i have nothing to hide" mindset.

@hansbauer @retrohacker nope, actually, it's the lack of legislation.

We don't expect people to be experts in chemistry and food safety in order for them not to get poisoned by food they buy. This is called food safety standards.

And yet we expect people will become tech and legal experts, reading through endless EULAs and understanding the fine print, and then being able to verify the tech behind it, for them to be able to protect their basic privacy?


@hansbauer @retrohacker legislators were able to create food safety standards that make getting poisoned by store-bought food impossibly unlikely. They were able to create regulations around medicines that make it highly unlikely for people to get poisoned by actual, you know, poisons (every medicine is poison in the right amount).

We can, and should, expect legislators to step in and regulate the IT industry.

Market will not solve it.

@rysiek @hansbauer @retrohacker

I've found this language helpful for thinking about some aspects of some of these problems:

There is some value in having people be the ultimate arbiters of what goods and services they buy.

But, to get reasonably safe and good things, we need the support of experts. And we need those experts to do their work on our behalf.

@deejoe @hansbauer @retrohacker oh absolutely. I am not saying people should not be able to make independent decisions.

But it is *not* an independent decision if the person is misinformed or does not have enough information to make an informed decision.

Legislation is needed (among other things) to create a baseline of quality of information about stuff that matches the baseline expectations of people.

I also want to point out that expecting people to 100% advocate for themselves in terms of tech and privacy is a privileged and even ableist position. Not everyone who gives in, does so out of laziness, convenience, or even ignorance. Some genuinely have few options.
@deejoe @hansbauer @retrohacker

@erosdiscordia @rysiek @deejoe @hansbauer @retrohacker

In this context there is a huge risk that regulations would be used to create business entry barriers by big players.

This in turn would kill .

You just need to impose conditions to who can program to effectively inhibit 1, 2 and 3.

So we need to be very careful with regulations: we can regulate specific business uses (AI, privacy etc) but not IT as a whole.

@Shamar @erosdiscordia @rysiek @deejoe @hansbauer

Regulating AI seems nonsensical to me. I'm not sure we want to regulate industries or technologies. I'm pretty sure we want to regulate behaviors.

Start with human rights and work out implications. The limits imposed on industry and technologies are derived from the human rights they aren't allowed to infringe on. It's not "you are allowed to use AI in these ways" its "no technology or person can infringe on the right [of/to]"

@Shamar @erosdiscordia @rysiek @deejoe @hansbauer

> forbid black boxes

I’m not sure this needs to be a regulation. Folks are free to do what they want with the tech they build, but they are responsible for the actions it takes. It’s risk management. If they aren’t able to comprehend the system they built, they are accepting that they may be found guilty of crimes that system commits. The decision to not use black boxes is easily derived from liability assuming we have balanced legislation.

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